OpenAI — the company behind the creepy, but all-conquering ChatGPT and DALL-E generative artificial intelligence models — hasn’t had the best of weekends.
The company kicked things off on Friday by sacking CEO and co-founder Sam Altman accusing him of not being “consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” Which is cryptic and damning at the same time.
But for some reason, the company failed to realise that you can’t just drop this kind of news in a press release and have things continue as normal. Investors went bananas, and by Sunday, the company was in talks with Altman over a possible return, which interim CEO Mira Murati must have considered a huge vote of confidence over 36 hours in charge.
But then OpenAI went in a different direction, hiring former Twitch CEO and co-founder Emmett Shear as Interim CEO. That’s the third CEO in three days — just the kind of stability investors love to see.
Hours later, it became clear why Altman might have decided not to rejoin the company that seemed somewhat unsure of how it felt about him. It turns out he’s joining Microsoft as CEO of a new artificial intelligence research team, alongside OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman (who quit when Altman was fired).
That’s the same Microsoft that also happens to be OpenAI’s biggest investor, and was previously reportedly urging the company to reinstate Altman. Hmmm.
Microsoft says it intends to continue working with OpenAI. “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 Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
The first few meetings are going to be awkward to say the least. Especially if more OpenAI employees follow Altman and Brockman over to the new research group… maybe ChatGPT has some tips about conflict resolution that everyone could read over before sitting down.