Over 500 employees threaten to resign from OpenAI

    The Hawk
    November21/ 2023
    Last Updated:

    OpenAI Turmoil: Employee Protest Sparks Leadership Crisis, Demands Board Resignation Amid Sam Altman's Dismissal and Microsoft's Involvement.

    Sam Altman

    Atlanta [United States]: Over 505 OpenAI employees have threatened to leave the company if they do not receive the resignation of the ChatGPT company's board after a tumultuous weekend in the Artificial Intelligence (AI) industry that saw the company's CEO, Sam Altman being fired and consequently hired by AI competition, Microsoft.
    More than 500 employees accused the OpenAI board of mishandling Altman's firing, failing to provide sufficient evidence for claims that Altman had not been candid with the board, and "negotiating in bad faith" with the company's executive leadership, reported CNN.

    "Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI," wrote the employees. "We are unable to work for or with people that lack competence, judgement and care for our mission and employees."
    Greg Brockman was also removed by the board on November 17, with the employees warning they would "imminently" follow Microsoft unless the board resigns and the prominent OpenAI pair is reinstated, reported CNN.

    Among the signatories is Mira Murati, who as recently as Friday had been named by the board as Altman's interim successor, as well as Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI's co-founder, chief scientist and board member who had been widely reported as having played a role in Altman's dismissal.

    Despite being named as Altman's interim successor, the promotion was superseded by the incoming of 40-year-old Emmett Shear co-founder of the live-streaming company, Twitch.
    As news of the letter to the board emerged on Monday 20, Sutskever apologised for his involvement in the leadership crisis.

    "I deeply regret my participation in the board's actions," he said. "I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we've built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company", reported CNN.
    As they sought to manage the fallout of Altman's firing, the letter claimed, members of the board "informed the leadership team that allowing the company to be destroyed 'would be consistent with the mission'" of OpenAI, which is to "ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity."
    "Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees," the letter added.
    The rebuke by some of OpenAI's most senior employees also underscores Altman's loyal following and Microsoft's opportunity to benefit from the situation, reported CNN.