Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has suffered a major setback as it has been disclosed that Sam Altman will not be rejoining OpenAI. The Information’s Jessica Lessin shared this information in a recent post. It is worth mentioning that discussions were taking place among the OpenAI board, Altman, Microsoft, and investors in an attempt to bring back the former CEO. Additionally, interim CEO Mira Murati was actively working towards persuading Altman to return to OpenAI.
The threshold of the whole discussion was that Altman demanded the resignation of OpenAI’s board and the appointment of a new one. Apparently he had given a deadline of 5pm yesterday and 1pm today to make it happen and he would be back after that. While yesterday’s deadline passed without adverse effects, today’s is still relevant, but this new detail has come well before that and added to the uncertainty.
As it stands, OpenAI’s board appears to be alone with investors, including Microsoft, along with Altman. Not only that, most employees have come out in public to support the fired CEO.
Notably, Altman was unceremoniously fired by OpenAI’s board via video call. This was a shock, not only to the public for whom Altman was the face of artificial intelligence, but also to investors like Microsoft. The government did not negotiate before implementing this step. In fact, even then-President Greg Brockman did not attend the board meeting. He then resigned in protest.
Satya Nadella was reportedly very enthusiastic about Altman’s return, and in addition, he also looked into the possibility of a Microsoft representative joining OpenAI’s board, even if it was without voting rights.
Investors would be really worried about the health of OpenAI without Altman. Will it be able to stay on this path of ultimate success or not? They would also be concerned about the immediate and long-term effects on OpenAI’s stock. And what does Altman do? Will he create an OpenAI competitor? Employees have also threatened mass layoffs if Altman does not return. How does it work out?
Uncertainty causes enormous damage in all these fields, regardless of the outcome.