Microsoft Hires former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman

Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman now work for Microsoft.

The board of directors at OpenAI decided they didn’t trust Sam Altman to continue leading the company, so they fired him on Friday. Sam Altman and Brockman will join Microsoft to lead their new advanced AI research team, as announced by CEO Satya Nadella.

Sam Altman confirmed his joining Microsoft in a post on X.

Sam Altman’s potential return to OpenAI was the subject of discussions over the weekend, which led to this announcement. Samuel Altman has been appointed as the chief executive officer of this new organization.

According to Nadella, Microsoft is organizing a new group to study advanced artificial intelligence. We are excited to share the news that Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, and others will be in charge of this group. “It is our intention to promptly furnish them with the means necessary to achieve their objectives.”

After Sam Altman revealed his joining Microsoft in a tweet on X (formerly Twitter), Nadella reposted the statement with the words “the mission continues,” confirming his hiring.

We are confident in our product roadmap, our ability to innovate on everything we revealed at Microsoft Ignite, and our ability to continue supporting our customers and partners. We are also committed to our cooperation with OpenAI. We are excited to meet Emmett and learn more about him…

When asked about Sam Altman’s potential tenure as CEO of Microsoft, Nadella hinted at her future. We have learned a lot about creating a space where entrepreneurs and creatives can carve out their own niches during our tenure at Microsoft. I can’t wait to watch how you put this same theory into practice.

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Executives of huge or separate divisions inside the software giant often hold the title of chief executive officer at Microsoft.

Phil Spencer, formerly of Xbox, is now the chief executive officer of Microsoft Gaming; Microsoft has utilized or employed CEO positions for numerous of its acquisitions, including LinkedIn, GitHub, Mojang, and Activision Blizzard. This points to the possibility that the new advanced AI research branch at Microsoft has loftier objectives.

Brockman has also revealed that several key figures from OpenAI would join the new Microsoft team. Jakub Pachocki, who was the chief scientist of OpenAI, is leaving for an unnamed senior position in Microsoft’s advanced artificial intelligence research group.

Brockman added that OpenAI researcher Szymon Sidor and Microsoft head of readiness Aleksander Madry are also taking on new leadership positions. Posting “OpenAI is nothing without its people” to X, OpenAI workers have also announced their imminent resignations.

Altman was named CEO of OpenAI less than 24 hours after he failed to re-engage with the board. Emmett Shear, who was previously the CEO and co-founder of Twitch, is now serving as the interim CEO. Following Altman’s unexpected dismissal on Friday, Mira Murati was named OpenAI’s interim chief executive officer. He will take her place.

Several sources told The Verge that, despite Altman’s negotiations to return as CEO, the four-person board of OpenAI was adamantly opposed to the idea.

According to the New York Times, he reportedly sought funding for an alternative company that planned to produce Nvidia-competitive custom artificial intelligence tensor processing unit (TPU) chips. The TPU project, which was working under the codename “Tigris,” attracted the attention of Microsoft and other prominent VC companies.

AI Custom Chips from Microsoft

Brockman and Sam Altman are at the helm of Microsoft’s brand-new advanced AI research group. This comes after last week’s disclosure that Microsoft has created its artificial intelligence chip; this might let the company train massive language models without having to rely on Nvidia’s costly services.

Microsoft has also created an Arm-based CPU for usage in the cloud. It created two distinct silicon processors to power its Azure data centers.

Sam Altman, OpenAI, and Microsoft have been working together to perfect the Maia AI processor. Even if the chip strained Microsoft’s previously close partnership with Nvidia, the Maia GPU is only the first in a series and the company is already working on a second generation.

Roughly $10 billion remains of Microsoft’s purported “multibillion dollar investment” in OpenAI. Microsoft’s cloud services power all of OpenAI’s product, API, and research workloads, as the firm is OpenAI’s exclusive cloud partner.

“Our partnership with OpenAI is important to us, and we are confident in our product roadmap, our ability to innovate, and our commitment to supporting our customers and partners,” said Nadella.

As an additional source of innovation, he brought up Microsoft Ignite. “We are excited to meet Emmett Shear and the rest of OAI’s new leadership team and begin collaborating with them.”

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