It was quite the weekend for OpenAI. With the one-year anniversary of the public introduction to its famed chatbot ChatGPT just days away, OpenAI had lost its CEO, president and other staff members.
Former CEO Sam Altman’s departure ricocheted through the company. President and Co-founder Greg Brockman quit following Friday’s news. CTO Mira Murati was initially selected as OpenAI’s interim CEO Friday, but the board appointed Emmett Shear, former CEO of Amazon subsidiary Twitch, as the company’s next interim CEO Monday, Shear announced on X.
Early Monday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Altman, Brockman and other colleagues will join the tech giant to lead a newly created advanced AI research team, in a statement posted to his social media platforms. Altman will join as CEO of the new entity, which Nadella compared to GitHub or LinkedIn in nature.
We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners. We look forward to getting to know Emmett…
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 20, 2023
The majority of OpenAI staffers are threatening to quit the company and follow Altman to Microsoft. The decision, they said, hinges on the board resigning, appointing two new lead independent directors and reinstating Altman and Brockman.
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) November 20, 2023
Over the past year, OpenAI has toiled to embed its services and products into enterprise tech stacks, addressing security concerns by introducing enterprise versions of its tool ChatGPT. Business technology leaders jumped at the AI opportunity with hefty investments and widescale implementation plans.
Now, the high-profile experts behind OpenAI will become an extension of Microsoft, a company that already enjoys a dominant enterprise presence. The fate of OpenAI and its signature technology, ChatGPT, remains in question, especially as businesses have a growing host of other generative AI options.
“Altman’s departure from OpenAI, while sudden, does not imply any issues with the underlying technology, models or approach given the information we have today,” Rowan Curran, senior analyst at Forrester, said in an email. All of OpenAI’s systems were operational as of Monday, according to its tracker.
OpenAI’s services are a major pull for