Sam Altman to join Microsoft, Satya Nadella says

Former Twitch boss Emmett Shear to be named interim CEO of OpenAI after the company's board on Friday fired Altman

Sam Altman will not return as chief executive of OpenAI, despite efforts by the company’s executives to bring him back. Reuters
Powered by automated translation

Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella on Monday said that ousted OpenAI chief Sam Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team.

Mr Nadella also appeared to confirm Emmett Shear's reported appointment as the new OpenAI chief executive, saying they are "looking forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI's new leadership team and working with them".

Sam Altman will not return as the chief executive of OpenAI and ex-Twitch boss Emmett Shear will become the new interim chief, The Information had reported on Sunday.

Mr Shear cofounded Twitch and had stepped down from the Amazon-owned live video streaming platform earlier this year.

Mr Altman will not return to the company as chief executive despite efforts from the company's executives to bring him back, board director Ilya Mr Sutskever said.

Mr Altman and Mr Brockman joined executives at the company's San Francisco headquarters on Sunday after recently appointed interim chief executive Mira Murati told staff she invited Mr Altman, The Information earlier reported on Sunday.

Ms Murati, a longtime OpenAI executive was named interim chief executive after Mr Altman’s ouster on Friday.

Mr Altman is discussing a possible return to the company behind the ChatGPT bot and improving the company's governance structure, even as he considers launching a new artificial intelligence venture, Reuters reported on Sunday.

US Senate holds hearing on regulating AI

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, from right, NYU Professor Emeritus Gary Marcus and IBM Chief Privacy and Trust Officer Christina Montgomery are sworn in before testifying at a Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law hearing on artificial intelligence, Tuesday, May 16, 2023, on Capitol Hill in Washington.  (AP Photo / Patrick Semansky)

The board of the company on Friday fired Mr Altman, who to many was the human face of generative AI, sending shock waves across the tech industry.

Mr Altman posted on Sunday on messaging platform X, formerly Twitter, an image of himself wearing an OpenAI guest badge with the caption: “first and last time I ever wear one of these”.

Mr Altman's sacking angered current and former employees and worried them over how an upcoming $86 billion share sale could be affected by the sudden management upheaval.

OpenAI's former president and co-founder, Mr Brockman also arrived at the office on Sunday, The Information reported. Mr Brockman had stepped down from the board as chairman as part of the management shuffle, and announced on Friday he quit the company.

If Mr Altman returns to OpenAI, Microsoft, its biggest backer, is considering taking a role on the board, The Information reported on Sunday.

Microsoft could either take a seat on OpenAI's board of directors, or as a board observer without voting power, the report added.

Updated: November 20, 2023, 9:44 AM