Sacked OpenAI CEO Sam Altman joins Microsoft; Emmett Shear replaces him

November 20, 2023 thehrobserver-hrobserver-samaltman

Sam Altman, the co-founder of ChatGPT and parent company OpenAI who was ousted as CEO on Friday, will be joining Microsoft, the startup’s biggest investor.

“We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “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.” According to Microsoft, Altman will be the CEO of the “new group.” 

Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s co-founder and former president who resigned after Altman’s firing, will also join Microsoft.

Meanwhile, OpenAI announced that Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Amazon’s streaming service Twitch, will join as interim CEO.

“I took this job because I believe that OpenAI is one of the most important companies currently in existence. When the board shared the situation and asked me to take the role, I did not make the decision lightly,” said  Shear on X.

Earlier this year, Microsoft announced the third phase of their long-term partnership with OpenAI through a multiyear, multibillion dollar investment to accelerate AI breakthroughs.

Open AI accused Altman of not being “consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.”

Shear said he had looked into the reasoning behind Mr Altman’s departure before taking his new role.

“The board did *not* remove Sam over any specific disagreement on safety, their reasoning was completely different from that. I’m not crazy enough to take this job without board support for commercializing our awesome models”, he wrote on X. He added that he is committed to hire an independent investigator “to dig into the entire process.”

There would also be “reform the management and leadership team in light of recent departures”, he wrote.

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