OpenAI’s board approached rival Anthropic’s CEO about replacing chief executive Sam Altman and a possible merger of the two AI startups, according to two people briefed on the matter.
People said Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei declined on both fronts.
The news, reported by The Information on Monday, follows several reported calls to find Altman’s successor days after he was ousted by OpenAI’s board.
OpenAI declined to comment, and board member Adam D’Angelo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Sunday, the board offered former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as interim CEO, who accepted. In the meantime, Altman agreed to join startup backer Microsoft along with other key OpenAI personnel. By Monday, nearly all of the startup’s 700-plus employees were threatening to quit, including one of its leaders on OpenAI’s now four-person board.
Anthropic’s founders, who were also directors of OpenAI until 2020, had resigned from their employer over disagreements over how to ensure the safe development and governance of AI.
Anthropic has won investments from Alphabet’s Google and Amazon.com. Its Claude AI models have competed for visibility with OpenAI’s GPT suite.