OpenAI’s Former CEO Joins Microsoft To Continue AI ‘Mission;’ Satya Nadella Weighs In

‘We’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team,’ says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.


Microsoft unveiled a blockbuster executive move Monday with the hiring of several former OpenAI leaders, including recently ousted CEO Sam Altman (pictured) to lead a new advanced AI research unit at Microsoft.

“We’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Monday. “We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success.”

OpenAI, the Microsoft-backed AI unicorn startup and owner of ChatGPT, forced out co-founder Altman last week as CEO.

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“The mission continues,” wrote Altman on X Monday morning.

the mission continues

— Sam Altman (@sama) November 20, 2023

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Nadella responded to Altman X’s post by saying, “I’m super excited to have you join as CEO of this new group, Sam, setting a new pace for innovation. We’ve learned a lot over the years about how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn, and I’m looking forward to having you do the same.”

It appears Altman and his group will operate somewhat as an independent entity within Microsoft.

Microsoft Hires OpenAI President, Co-Founder

OpenAI’s president and co-founder Greg Brockman, who recently left OpenAI in support of Altman, is also joining Microsoft to work in its new advanced research lab.

“We are going to build something new and it will be incredible,” said Brockman on X Monday morning.

Microsoft has invested $13 billion in OpenAI over the past few years. The software giant and the AI startup work together on joint innovation, including around generative AI.

“We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners,” said Nadella on X. “We look forward to getting to know [new OpenAI CEO] Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them.”

Microsoft did not respond for comment on the matter by press time.

OpenAI’s Altman Ousted Last Week

Founded in 2015, OpenAI shocked the world one year ago by launching the AI chatbot ChatGPT. Altman has since become one of the most popular leaders in the tech industry, raising billions of dollars from Microsoft, venture capitalists, investment firms and others.

Last week, OpenAI’s board fired Altman, citing confidence issues with the leader.

The startup’s board said it was the “only path to advance and defend” OpenAI’s mission, according to a memo.

“Sam’s behavior and lack of transparency in his interactions with the board undermined the board’s ability to effectively supervise the company in the manner it was mandated to do,” said board members in the memo. “It is paramount that any C.E.O. be honest and transparent with his or her board.”

Over the past few days, Altman has taken to social media to express his gratitude to OpenAI employees.

“I love you all,” said Altman on X on Saturday. “Today was a weird experience in many ways. But one unexpected one is that it has been sorta like reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive. The outpouring of love is awesome.”