‘Will quit’ letter from over 500 OpenAI employees: ‘Microsoft has jobs for us’

Over 500 employees of OpenAI on Monday threatened to leave the company unless all current board members resigned, Reuters reported citing a letter by the employees.

They also said they would join former boss Sam Altman at Microsoft’s new division.

OpenAI logo is seen in this illustration taken on February 3.(Reuters)

“The process through which you terminated Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and company” the letter reads. “Your conduct has made it clear you did not have the competence to oversee OpenAI.”

Among those threatening included the company’s Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati, Chief Data Scientist Ilya Sutskever and Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap, a person familiar with the matter told the news agency.

OpenAI did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The development comes a day after the company sacked Altman. Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear was appointed as the company’s interim CEO.

Earlier today, Microsoft’s Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella announced that Altman and is joining the US software firm. Nadella said that Altman, along with along with his ex-colleague, Greg Brockman, will be leading a new advanced AI research team at Microsoft.

Also Read | Sam Altman, sacked OpenAI CEO, to join Satya Nadella’s Microsoft: What happened in 3 days? ChatGPT-maker row explained

Nadella also appeared to confirm Emmett Shear’s reported appointment as the new OpenAI CEO, saying they are “looking forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them.”

“…We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them. And we’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success,” Nadella wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

The developments come less than a year after OpenAI launched the generative AI frenzy with the launch of viral chatbot ChatGPT and bagged Microsoft as an investor, among other big names.

Who is Sam Altman, ex-CEO of OpenAI?

Sam Altman is an entrepreneur who is known for his disruptive and advanced views on artificial intelligence. Altman served as the Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI from 2019 to 2023.

Interested in the tech world at a young age, Altman learnt how to code and take apart a Macintosh computer just at the age of eight. After getting into the premium Stanford University, he decided to drop out to develop his own mobile app Loopt, eventually rising to the top and making his way to OpenAI.

Before Microsoft-owned OpenAI, Sam Altman also headed firms like WorldCoin and Y Combinator. Altman also served as the CEO of Reddit for just eight days after Yishan Wong’s resignation.

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