OpenAI Employees Threaten To Quit After Former CEO Sam Altman Ousted
By Bill Galluccio
November 20, 2023
Days after OpenAi's Board of Directors ousted CEO Sam Altman, a vast majority of the company's workers threatened to quit.
Altman was removed as CEO on Friday (November 17) after the board determined they "no longer had confidence" in him over concerns he was not being "candid in his communications with the board."
OpenAI developed the popular chatbot ChatGPT, which ignited a surge of interest and investment in artificial intelligence programs.
Altman's sudden departure sent shockwaves through the tech community.
However, Altman was not unemployed for long. He was quickly hired by Microsoft, which financially backs OpenAI, to lead their artificial intelligence division.
According to NBC News, around 700 of OpenAI's 770 employees signed an open letter to the company's board demanding they resign. If they do not, the workers suggested they would quit and possibly join Altman at Microsoft.
"Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI," the letter reads. "We are unable to work for or with people that lack competence, judgment, and care for our mission and employees. We, the undersigned, may choose to resign from OpenAI and join the newly announced Microsoft subsidiary run by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman."
Surprisingly, one of the signatories was OpenAi board member Ilya Sutskever. In a post on X, Sutskever apologized for his role in ousting Altman.
"I deeply regret my participation in the board's actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we've built together, and I will do everything I can to reunite the company," he wrote.
While the future of OpenAI remains in doubt, Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella said that the company still supports OpenAI.
"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 Shear and OAI's new leadership team and working with them," Nadella wrote in a post on X.