The Story of Mira Murati and the Board of Trustees at Open AI: An Open Letter to Sutskever, a former Microsoft employee
Mira Murati was initially announced as Altman’s replacement, and some employees were threatening to quit. The board decided to fire Altman after the investors urged them to reconsider, and on Sunday he posted a picture from inside the offices holding a guest badge as they considered their next move. The decision to make Shear the board’s new CEO was in defiance of demands to get Altman back.
An attempt to restore Altman as CEO and replace the board ran into difficulty Sunday over the role of existing directors in choosing their replacements, Bloomberg reported.
Nathan Benaich, general partner of Air Street Capital and coauthor of the “State of AI Report,” says OpenAI’s corporate structure has proven to be at odds with the need to support cutting-edge research through huge amounts of equity investment. “It was an experiment to defy the laws of corporate physics, and it appears that physics won out,” he says.
Altman told Vanity Fair he did not have a lot of experience with nonprofits. “So I’m just not sure how it’s going to go,” he said.
Multiple sources with direct knowledge of the situation said that the company’s investors are still working to find a graceful exit for the board. The sources characterized the hiring announcement by Microsoft, which needed to have a resolution to the crisis before the stock market opened on Monday, as a “holding pattern.”
Even though he had played a major role in the ousting of Altman, Sutskever still flipped on the board. His name was on an open letter to the board on Monday calling for them to resign and reinstate Altman, which nearly the whole company has now signed.
What is going on inside OpenAI, and What can we do about it? An evaluative analysis of the case of Altman and Brockman
“OpenAI’s stability and success are too important to allow turmoil to disrupt them like this,” says Shear. “I will endeavor to address the key concerns as well, although in many cases I believe it may take longer than a month to achieve true progress.”
According to people familiar with the situation, the new CEO has been unable to obtain written documentation of the board’s reasoning for firing the CEO and has not shared it with the investors. He said in a note to employees that his first order of business were to hire an independent investigator to dig into the entire process and produce a full report.
The remaining board holdouts who oppose Altman are Adam D’Angelo, Adam D’Angelo, and Helen Toner. They have so far not responded to The Verge’s requests for comment.
In an interview with Jon Fortt, Microsoft CEO Ray Nadella said that they are committed to Open Artificial Intelligence, regardless of what configuration they are in. Nadella added that “obviously we want Sam and Greg to have a fantastic home if they’re not going to be [at] OpenAI, with all the colleagues at Microsoft, but I’m exactly where I was on Friday morning.”
“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,” says Nadella. We will be providing them with the resources needed for their success quickly.
I think we will definitely want some governance changes. Surprises are not good and we want to make sure that we continue to work well together. The idea that changes happen without being in the loop is not good, and we will ensure that some of the changes that are needed happen and that we continue to be a part of this partnership.
The State of AI: Why Sam Altman isn’t in MS’s Corporate Directory? An Employee’s Letter Against OpenAI
Multiple sources said earlier today that Sam Altman isn’t in Microsoft’s corporate directory yet. That’s not hugely surprising as Microsoft’s HR and onboarding processes aren’t set up for 24-hour emergency deals, but Microsoft also hasn’t detailed the appointment to employees in any internal company-wide memos yet. If Altman is fully onboarded to Microsoft then he’ll have a CEO title inside Microsoft, which is typically reserved for the leaders of big divisions like Microsoft Gaming, or acquired companies like LinkedIn and GitHub.
The employees signed the letter accuse the company’s board of having jeopardized their work andmined their mission. They do not agree with the idea that OpenAI was pushing ahead without concern for their safety. They write about how their work on safety and governance shapes global norms.
Microsoft’s new advanced AI research team, led by Altman and Brockman, comes just a week after Microsoft announced it has built its own custom AI chip that can be used to train large language models and potentially avoid a costly reliance on Nvidia. The New York Times reported that a separate startup had been proposed by Altman to build custom, Nvidia-rivaling TPU chips.
The board of Openai decided to put a former CEO in charge of the company, despite some investors’ calls for the company to bring back its previous CEO.
OpenAI, founded by Altman, Elon Musk and others about eight years ago as a nonprofit AI research lab, released ChatGPT last year, setting the pace for the entire tech industry’s focus on a sophisticated type of artificial intelligence known as generative AI.
An author of a report on the State of AI says that Satya now looks like a kingmaker.