OpenAI’s drama comes to an end, as Microsoft shares a note reassuring the AI partnership

Sam Altman has been reinstated as CEO of the OpenAI company.

by Flavius Floare

Flavius Floare

Flavius is a writer and a media content producer with a particular interest in technology, gaming, media, film and storytelling. He enjoys spending time in nature and at… read more

OpenAI Microsoft

It’s safe to say Sam Altam is here to stay. Yes, it’s a silly introduction, but the whole OpenAI situation with the board firing the CEO, Sam Altman, has been a bit silly.

If you’re not aware of the situation, although we doubt it, as it was the talk of every newspaper, tech-focused or not, Sam Altman, OpenAI’s CEO, was fired on Friday, and in less than a week he returned to his position.

From Friday until earlier today, however, a lot happened: Microsoft offered Altman a CEO position at a new AI lab inside the company, then over 700 OpenAI employees threatened to leave to company if Altman wouldn’t come back as CEO, then OpenAI regretted the action, even though it named a new interim CEO, and so on.

The whole situation was more silly than bizarre, and it kept the tech world on edge. Things weren’t this interesting ever since Musk turned Twitter into X. Why? Because the reason for Altman’s firing was also uncertain. OpenAI’s board said that the CEO’s behavior caused them to lose their trust in his abilities to lead, but the overall support of over 700 OpenAI employees says differently.

Microsoft is on the same page. The Redmond-based tech giant reassured that its AI partnership with OpenAI will continue, regardless of who is leading the company, while also supporting Altman’s departure at the same time, by offering him a new CEO position at a new AI lab within the company.

And today, Microsoft shared a lengthy note to all of its employees, reassuring the partnership once again, and trusting Sam Altman as the CEO of the company. It’s worth mentioning that Microsoft is one of OpenAI’s biggest investors, so the company backing up Altman, despite the board firing him, means that the Redmond-based tech giant has good reasons to do so.

Here’s what Microsoft has to say about the OpenAI – Sam Altman situation

The folks over at The Verge have access to the internal memo Microsoft sent to its employees and the Redmond-based tech giant has a lot to say about the situation. However, one thing is clear: the Microsoft-OpenAI partnership goes on.

As you’ve likely seen by now, OpenAl has appointed a new board of directors. Sam Altman and Greg Brockman have agreed to return to OpenAl with Sam as CEO. The events of the past few days have been uncertain for our colleagues at OpenAl, and of intense interest to many others. Throughout, nothing has changed or wavered about our resolve and focus to deliver the world’s best Al technology platforms and products to our customers and partners. We will continue to support our colleagues at OpenAl and the phenomenal work they’ve been doing alongside us in service of that mission. As we have for these past 4+ years, we look forward to continuing our work with Sam and his team.

Despite the potential of the past few days to distract us, both Microsoft and OpenAl scientists and engineers have been working with undiminished urgency. Since Friday, Azure has deployed new Al compute, our newly formed MSR Al Frontiers organization published their new cutting-edge research Orca 2, and OpenAl continued to ship product like the new voice features in ChatGPT that rolled out yesterday. Any of these things alone would have been the accomplishment of a quarter for normal teams. Three such achievements in a week, with a major US holiday and with a huge amount of noise surrounding us, speaks volumes to the commitment, focus, and sense of urgency that everyone has. It is both humbling and inspiring to be part of such an amazing team at Microsoft, and to have the privilege of working with the team at OpenAl.

On behalf of the SLT [senior leadership team], thank you all for your resolve, and to the huge number of people who went above and beyond over the past few days to help in so many ways: we are enormously grateful.OpenAI Microsoft


Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, also had something to say on the situation, as he posted on X:

This week, many of us will pause to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday in the US, and I want to take a moment to say a big thank you to each of you for your hard work and contributions to our company. The pace of innovation that you have driven has been remarkable, especially during a time of so much continued hardship and uncertainty in the world. But technology, including Al, is only a tool. It’s a means, not an end. And, ultimately, our end is our mission to empower people and organizations all over the planet — one individual, one community, one country at a time. At the end of the day, the greatest privilege of my job is working with people who are driven by mission. There is no better example of this than this past 5 days, when I saw people across the company remaining focused on our mission and serving our customers and partners, stepping up to help in every way possible. This is what I’m especially thankful for going into the Thanksgiving holiday. I am deeply grateful for what you do every day and the difference it makes in the world. I feel lucky to count all of you as colleagues. To those who celebrate, have a great Thanksgiving

Satya Nadella

As many have written about the topic, there is a lot to consider and take from this situation: what will happen to the new CEO position Altman already has at Microsoft? Will that AI lab come to fruition one way or the other? Why has Microsoft backed Altman despite a board of directors agreeing that his behavior was not the best one for OpenAI? And we can question and question, but we won’t find any answer anytime soon.

For now, though, OpenAI has a new board of directors, and Altman & Co. are back. The AI development must go on. As for the drama, it’s best to leave it in the past, and in time, maybe we’ll get to find out what really happened.

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