There was quite a stir at OpenAI when Sam Altman, former CEO of the firm was unceremoniously removed from his post by the board during a Google Meet last week. Post his ouster, investors and employees had been pushing for his reinstatement. About 500 employees had even threatened to quit if Altman wasn’t brought back. Altman had hinted at a return but set a condition for the same. In fact, he had set a deadline for his reinstatement and made it clear that he wished to see the present board of directors of the company who fired him earlier, removed by then. The Board at OpenAI, however, announced Emmett Shear as the new CEO of OpenAI. Grabbing the opportunity, Microsoft roped in Altman to head its newly-formed inhouse AI unit.
Altman will now lead this AI team and help advance the technology, even though Microsoft is one of the primary investors in OpenAI. Microsoft has clarified on social media that it will continue to partner with OpenAI too.
Along with Altman, Microsoft has also asked Greg Brockman, former president – OpenAI, who had quit post Altman’s termination, to join its AI unit and contribute to the research team there.
It is pertinent to mention here that Microsoft has already invested over $11 billion in OpenAI, and yet opted to launch its own in-house unit to further advance the technology.