OpenAI’s chief scientist has changed his tune about Sam Altman’s dramatic firing last week, as hundreds of employees threaten to jump ship if the entire board doesn’t resign.
“I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI,” Ilya Sutskever wrote on X. “I love everything we’ve built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company.”
The about-face comes just three days after Altman, 38, was forced out of the company he’d helped turn into an artificial intelligence powerhouse, a dramatic turn that then prompted OpenAI’s CEO, Greg Brockman, to quit.
“Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities,” the company said in a blog post that was light on specifics. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
On Friday, Altman wrote on X that he “loved” his “time at openai.”
“it was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit,” he continued. “most of all i loved working with such talented people. will have more to say about what’s next later.”
After a weekend of failed negotiations, Altman’s departure was confirmed on Sunday afternoon, and by Monday morning, OpenAI had named former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as interim CEO.
Altman and Brockman already have a new gig: leading an AI research team at Microsoft.
And more OpenAI employees may follow.
Over 500 of OpenAI’s 700 employees have now signed a letter pushing for the company’s board to resign, threatening to “join the newly announced Microsoft subsidiary run by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman.”
“Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees at this new subsidiary should we choose to join,” the letter states.
“We will take this step imminently, unless all current board members resign, and the board appoints two. New lead independent directors, such as Bret Taylor and Will Hurd, and reinstates Sam Altman and Greg Brockman,” it says.
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