Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has officially announced the incorporation of former OpenAI leaders Sam Altman and Greg Brockman into a newly formed advanced AI research team within the company. This development follows significant leadership changes at OpenAI, resulting in the removal of both co-founders from their prominent roles within the organization.
Despite the recent shifts at OpenAI, Nadella has reassured the public of Microsoft’s steadfast commitment to its partnership with OpenAI, expressing confidence in both the company and its former executives.
The newly established advanced AI research initiative at Microsoft will be spearheaded by former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and President Greg Brockman, along with their team. Although Altman will not resume his role as CEO, this announcement underscores Microsoft’s dedication to maintaining strong ties with Altman, who played a pivotal role in establishing the initial partnership between the two companies.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Altman affirmed his ongoing mission, highlighting the collaboration between Microsoft and the former OpenAI leadership as a significant milestone in the continually evolving landscape of AI research and development.
The decision to bring Altman, Brockman, and their team to Microsoft transpired after several days of discussions, prompted by the sudden departure of key figures from OpenAI. This move marks the beginning of a new chapter in AI research, with Emmett Shear, former head of Twitch, stepping in as the interim CEO of OpenAI.
With Microsoft’s unwavering commitment and the expertise of the former OpenAI team, this alliance is poised to drive groundbreaking developments that will shape the future of artificial intelligence. Nadella expressed eagerness to provide the necessary resources for the success of the new AI research team, setting the stage for a pioneering era in AI innovation.
“We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success,” said Nadella, a sentiment that many in the tech industry hailed as an example of “incredible execution.”
Altman’s negotiations to return as OpenAI CEO were met with resistance from the board, leading to his departure. Despite this, Altman has been actively involved in AI-related endeavors, including a reported pitch for a startup focused on building custom AI Tensor Processing Unit (TPU) chips, codenamed “Tigris,” which garnered interest from notable venture firms and Microsoft.
The OpenAI board’s decision to remove Altman, citing a lack of consistent candor, left Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati stepping in as the interim CEO, with plans to initiate a search for a permanent successor to the CEO position.
It’s worth noting that Microsoft is the exclusive cloud partner for OpenAI, with its cloud services powering all OpenAI workloads across products, API services, and research.