Microsoft has made a strategic move by enlisting the expertise of former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman to spearhead its newly established advanced AI research team.
The decision comes on the heels of Altman’s departure from OpenAI, prompted by the board’s loss of confidence in his leadership abilities. Despite attempts to reconcile, Altman opted to join forces with Microsoft.
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,…
In an official statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed enthusiasm about the collaboration, stating, “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.” Nadella also hinted at a commitment to providing the necessary resources for the success of this endeavor.
Altman confirmed his transition to Microsoft via a post on X, sharing Nadella’s message with a succinct note: “the mission continues.” Nadella, in response, emphasized Microsoft’s approach to allowing founders the autonomy to develop independent identities within the company, citing examples like GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn.
This development unfolded following unsuccessful negotiations between Altman and OpenAI’s board for his reinstatement as CEO. Instead, Emmett Shear, former Twitch CEO and co-founder, steps in as interim CEO, succeeding Mira Murati, who held the interim position after Altman’s abrupt departure.
Today I got a call inviting me to consider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to become the interim CEO of @OpenAI. After consulting with my family and reflecting on it for just a few hours, I accepted. I had recently resigned from my role as CEO of Twitch due to the birth of my…
Reports surfaced during Altman’s negotiations, suggesting that he was concurrently pitching a startup focused on building custom AI Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) chips. The project, codenamed “Tigris,” attracted interest from notable venture firms, including Microsoft. Here’s a passage from OpenAI’s official announcement of the decision:
Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.
In response to the evolving landscape of AI research and development, Microsoft has taken a proactive step by assembling a new advanced AI research team led by Altman and Brockman. This move aligns with Microsoft’s recent unveiling of its custom AI chip, specifically designed for training large language models, aiming to reduce reliance on established players like Nvidia. Additionally, Microsoft has ventured into developing its Arm-based CPU tailored for cloud workloads.
Despite the leadership shift at OpenAI, Microsoft maintains a substantial “multibillion-dollar investment” in the organization, acting as its exclusive cloud partner. Microsoft’s cloud services play a pivotal role in powering all OpenAI workloads, underscoring a steadfast commitment to the ongoing partnership.
Nadella reassured continued support for OpenAI’s new leadership, stating, “We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them.” The collaborative efforts between Microsoft and OpenAI persist, with a dedicated focus on fostering innovation and providing unwavering support to customers and partners in the dynamic realm of AI research and development.