Hundreds of OpenAI employees threaten to follow Altman to Microsoft unless board resigns

Technology

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Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, speaks during The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, on Oct. 17, 2023.
Patrick T. Fallon | AFP | Getty Images

Hundreds of OpenAI employees, including co-founder and board member Ilya Sutskever, have signed a letter demanding that either OpenAI’s remaining board members resign or those OpenAI employees will join Sam Altman’s new venture at Microsoft, Wired and Kara Swisher reported Monday morning.

“Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI,” the letter reportedly says. 505 OpenAI employees have signed the letter, Swisher reported, representing the overwhelming majority of OpenAI’s headcount. The letter says that Microsoft has “assured” those employees that they would have jobs at the new subsidiary, should they “choose to join.”

Signatories reportedly include some of OpenAI’s most senior executives. Former interim CEO Mira Murati and OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap are the first two signatories on the letter. Murati was appointed as CEO following Altman’s exit but was replaced this morning with Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear.

In an apparent about face, Sutskever reportedly signed the letter and wrote on the social media platform X Monday morning that he “deeply” regretted his participation in the “board’s actions.”

Multiple OpenAI employees voiced their support on social media as well. “OpenAI is nothing without its people,” the missives said.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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