Nadella stressed the need for changes in OpenAI’s governance structure, signalling that Microsoft intends to engage in a constructive dialogue with the OpenAI board regarding these modifications.
OpenAI’s investors are still trying to return co-founder Sam Altman to a leadership role at the ChatGPT maker, and Microsoft has signalled that it wouldn’t oppose such an outcome.
Thrive Capital, Khosla Ventures and Tiger Global Management are looking to secure their investment after the OpenAI board forced out Altman on Friday, Bloomberg reported. Altman is eager to return, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss confidential negotiations.
On Sunday, Microsoft – OpenAI’s biggest investor by far – said it was hiring Altman, former OpenAI President Greg Brockman and unnamed “colleagues” to a new Microsoft artificial intelligence unit that Altman would helm as CEO.
But Microsoft also would be amenable to Altman and Brockman returning to OpenAI, albeit with a couple of key conditions. The startup’s current board would have to resign, and OpenAI’s governance would have to change to ensure that such upheaval could never happen again, according to people familiar with the software giant’s thinking.
OpenAI, meanwhile, said it’s in “intense discussions” to unify the company after another tumultuous day that saw most employees threaten to quit if Sam Altman doesn’t return as CEO. Vice president of global affairs Anna Makanju delivered the message in an internal memo reviewed by Bloomberg News, aiming to rally staff who’ve grown anxious after days of disarray following Altman’s ouster and the board’s surprise appointment of former Twitch chief Emmett Shear as his interim replacement. OpenAI management is in touch with Altman, Shear and the board, “but they are not prepared to give us a final response this evening,” Makanju wrote.
The drama surrounding the company behind ChatGPT has transfixed the technology world and set off a race by OpenAI investors to contain the damage. On Monday, more than 700 of the startup’s 770 staff signed a letter saying they would quit if the board doesn’t resign and re-hire Altman.
OpenAI’s chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who was reported to have played a role in the board rebellion against Altman, has expressed regret. “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,” Sutskever posted on social media platform X on Monday. agencies