Microsoft announced that OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and ex-president Greg Brockman will lead a newly formed advanced AI research team. The news followed a roller coaster of rumours, posts and activities after Altman was abruptly fired from his position as CEO last Friday.
The announcement was made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, emphasizing the company’s continued investment and strategic commitment to AI technology.
Microsoft, already the largest investor and partner of OpenAI, plans to leverage Altman and Brockman’s expertise to expand its AI capabilities. This move aligns with Microsoft’s strategy of integrating OpenAI’s products into its own offerings, such as the Copilot products. Nadella expressed excitement about bringing Altman and Brockman on board, citing Microsoft’s track record of allowing founders and innovators to build unique identities and cultures within the company, referencing successful integrations like GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn.
The appointments come after a significant leadership reshuffle at OpenAI, where Emmett Shear, former Twitch CEO, was named interim CEO, signaling a shift in the company’s direction. This move by Microsoft reaffirms its commitment to OpenAI while also indicating its intention to further its own AI research and development initiatives.
In response to the announcement, Altman and Brockman expressed enthusiasm about their new roles, with Brockman hinting at building something new and incredible at Microsoft. The new team also includes Jakub Pachocki, Szymon Sidor, and Aleksander Madry, who all resigned from OpenAI on Friday.
As Microsoft reinforces its AI division with this strategic hiring, the industry is poised to watch the impact of these changes on both OpenAI’s future and the broader AI landscape. The move also raises questions about potential shifts in talent within OpenAI and the industry, as experienced professionals align with different AI research initiatives.
Sources include: Axios