• Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

Microsoft’s Role in OpenAI’s Decision to Terminate Sam Altman


Nov 21, 2023

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes that OpenAI should have consulted Microsoft before firing former CEO Sam Altman. He made this statement on Kara Swisher’s podcast, stating that it would have been the “very least” the board could have done given their investment in the company.

Microsoft has invested billions in OpenAI, and both companies use each other’s technology. ChatGPT is used to power Microsoft’s Bing search engine, while OpenAI uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers. However, Microsoft was not aware of Altman’s firing until OpenAI went public with the announcement.

Nadella explained that as a partner, he believes it is important to be consulted on big decisions, especially when someone has chosen your company twice. He added that there must be a reason why Altman chose Microsoft twice, and that it is essential to understand this reason in order to move forward.

Last Friday, OpenAI abruptly announced Altman’s firing as CEO. The board said in a statement that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications” with them but did not give further details. This led to a weekend of chaos and ended with the appointment of former Twitch chief Emmett Shear as OpenAI’s new interim CEO.

On Monday, Nadella announced that he had hired Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman to head Microsoft’s new advanced AI research team. However, it seems that the drama isn’t over yet as nearly all of OpenAI’s staff are threatening to quit unless the board resigns and Altman returns as CEO. Nadella seems prepared for this possibility and stated that they will definitely have a place for all AI talent to come here and move forward on the mission while being supportive of whoever remains at OpenAI or whatever.

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