The Morning After: Microsoft recruits recently fired OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman


OpenAI’s board of directors announced Friday it had fired CEO Sam Altman. But he’s doing okay. By Monday morning, he had joined Microsoft “to lead a new advanced AI research team,” according to the company.

Altman cofounded OpenAI with Elon Musk in 2015 as a nonprofit and served as the CEO for the for-profit arm since 2019. He was originally fired from OpenAI over “a breakdown in communication between Sam and the board,” according to an internal staff memo. Several key members also resigned, including co-founder Greg Brockman (who will now also join Microsoft) along with a few senior researchers. “Dozens” of OpenAI employees reportedly announced internally they’d be quitting too, with some expressing interest in joining a potential new Altman startup.

According to Bloomberg, the board had reportedly considered reversing Altman’s firing, though the ousted exec wanted the existing board to resign and issue a public apology — and I fully endorse all this drama, if true.

The company did not apologize, however.

— Mat Smith

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