Sam Altman Hired at Microsoft, 500 Employees Threaten to Follow

Sam Altman Hired at Microsoft

Sam Altman, in a plot twist worthy of Shakespeare, has found his landing spot:

Microsoft.

The amount of backstabbing, subterfuge, and intrigue surrounding this story in just 3 short days has every screenwriter in Hollywood wondering if they should drop everything and write the movie. And though it’s not over quite yet, there’s enough bloodshed and heroic twists of fate to go around.

Let’s quickly recap:

  • Sam Altman is fired as CEO from OpenAI on Friday.
  • President Greg Brockman resigns almost immediately, as do various key researchers and scientists.
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella (Microsoft is a 49% exclusive partner in OpenAI) is furious for not being consulted before the firing.
  • On Saturday, the OpenAI investors and employees begin a revolt.
  • The OpenAI board (and interim CEO Ilya Sutskever) try to back step it all, and attempt to rehire Altman and Brockman.
  • Altman wants the board fired first. They can’t come to an agreement.
  • Satya Nadella secretly reaches out to Altman, offers him the CEO position of a yet to be formed AI division at Microsoft.
  • Altman accepts, and is ready to show up to work on Monday.
  • OpenAI hires a new CEO, formerly of Twitch, making this the third CEO in 3 days.

Even in Internet time, all these events have happened crazy fast. And we probably don’t even know the half of it.

Over at OpenAI, meanwhile, things look like they’re falling apart. Ilya Sutskever is tweeting his apologies for being involved. Over 500 employees are threatening to quit to join Sam Altman over at Microsoft. Even the new CEO they hired from Twitch knows he is walking into a firestorm.

Sam Altman Hired at Microsoft
Sam Altman Hired at Microsoft

In the words of Steve Jobs rolling over in his grave: what a sh!t storm.

Microsoft has promised Sam Altman that his team will have the time, space, and resources to continue revolutionizing AI. Meanwhile, OpenAI seems to be left holding their shattered egos in their hands, but not much else.

But, if things remain true to form, we most likely can expect a few more major twists and turns in this yet to be completely told story. I imagine the OpenAI board is looking over their shoulders. And the chess game, albeit a bloody one, continues.

More to come.

Read our previous Sam Altman updates here and here.

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