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Sam Altman to join Microsoft 3 days after abrupt dismissal from OpenAI

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In another dramatic turn of events, recently dismissed chief executive officer of OpenAI Sam Altman has been hired by Microsoft, major backer of the AI company, to head a “new advanced AI research team.” Apart from Altman, the American tech major is also hiring OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman.

“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,” Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella wrote on X on Monday.

The other “colleagues” Nadella is talking about are Jakub Pachocki, director of research at OpenAI and GPT-4 lead, along with research scientist Szymon Sidor and head of preparedness Aleksander Madry, Brockman informed on X. It is further speculated that more former OpenAI employees who have exited the company after Altman’s dismissal will be hired by the tech giant moving forward.

Replying to Nadella’s post on X, Altman wrote “the mission continues” and acknowledged that he is joining Microsoft.

 

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In another post, Microsoft chief provided subtle hints about Altman’s role at the new venture. “I’m super excited to have you join as CEO of this new group, Sam, setting a new pace for innovation. We’ve learned a lot over the years about how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn, and I’m looking forward to having you do the same,” Nadella wrote.

Meanwhile, the news of Altman’s hiring by Microsoft comes after OpenAI board failed to reinstate him as CEO of the company despite several negotiations and severe backlash. The ChatGPT-parent instead appointed Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear as the new interim chief. He will succeed the company’s Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati, who was appointed as the interim CEO after Altman was ousted.

Meanwhile, the atmosphere within OpenAI remains tense, with both current and former employees expressing dismay over Altman’s dismissal. Hundreds of OpenAI employees have signed a petition calling for the resignation of the remaining board members of OpenAI. Or alternatively, for the employees to become part of Microsoft and operate under the leadership of Sam Altman. There is also growing concern about how this leadership change could influence an impending $86 billion share sale, intensifying the uncertainty surrounding the company’s future direction.

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