OpenAI Staff Threaten to Quit Unless Board Resigns

In one other rapid-fire reshuffle, OpenAI’s board selected to take away Murati and appoint one other interim CEO, Emmett Shear, the previous CEO of Twitch, the online game streaming web site.

Some OpenAI employees stayed up all night time debating a plan of action following information that Altman wouldn’t return to OpenAI. Many employees have been annoyed a couple of lack of communication over Altman’s firing. Dozens of staff appeared to sign their willingness to leap ship and be part of Altman final night time by posting “OpenAI is nothing without its people” on X.

In their letter, the OpenAI employees threaten to hitch Altman at Microsoft. “Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees at this new subsidiary should we choose to join,” they write.

The precise reason for Altman’s removal remains unclear, even to many inside the company. “Despite many requests for specific facts for your allegations, you have never provided any written evidence,” the letter says in its message to the board.

Besides calling for the current board—made up of Ilya Sutskever, Adam D’Angelo, Helen Toner, and Tasha McCauley—to resign, the letter requests that two new independent lead board members, Bret Taylor and Will Hurd, be appointed. Taylor is a tech industry veteran with close ties to Altman; Hurd is a politician who previously served on the OpenAI board.

The letter raises the very real prospect of OpenAI losing almost all of its staff, and Microsoft essentially acqui-hiring the entire company. OpenAI has around 770 total staff.

The wild saga also highlights OpenAI’s unusual governance structure, which gave a few nonprofit board members extraordinary power of the hottest tech company in the world.

The episode also reveals how divisive the race to develop artificial intelligence has become among many involved with developing the technology.

Altman’s efforts to raise money for OpenAI and to turn its offerings into commercial products may have unsettled board members, who saw their responsibility as ensuring that AI is developed safely.

OpenAI’s meteoric rise in the year since ChatGPT was released has been accompanied with growing talk about the risks that increasingly advanced AI may pose.

The letter reads:

To the Board of Directors at OpenAI,

OpenAI is the world’s main AI firm. We, the staff of OpenAI, have developed the most effective fashions and pushed the sphere to new frontiers. Our work on AI security and governance shapes world norms. The merchandise we constructed are utilized by hundreds of thousands of individuals around the globe. Until now, the corporate we work for and cherish has by no means been in a stronger place.