Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella faced a significant challenge when it was disclosed that Sam Altman would not be coming back to OpenAI, and a new person has been chosen to take over.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella faced a big challenge as news broke that Sam Altman won’t be returning to OpenAI. The scoop came from Jessica Lessin at The Information in a post on the platform. Talks were happening among the OpenAI board, Altman, Microsoft, and investors to bring back the former CEO. Interestingly, Mira Murati, the interim CEO, was also putting in efforts to get Altman back.
Surprisingly, the role of OpenAI CEO now belongs to Emmett Shear, as reported by Ilya Sutskever, co-founder, and board director. Shear is known for co-founding Twitch, a video streaming site. The Financial Times hinted that he might be the interim CEO, suggesting that Murati’s time at the helm was quite short, possibly just a few days.
All this unfolded shortly after Sam Altman posted a message on X, saying, “First and last time I ever wear one of these.” This strongly hints that he had no plans to return to OpenAI.
The big issue in the whole discussion was that Altman wanted the OpenAI board to step down, and a new one to take their place. He set a deadline of 5 PM yesterday and another one today for this change to happen, saying he’d come back afterward.
Currently, at OpenAI, it seems like the board is on one side, while investors, including Microsoft, are supporting Altman. Interestingly, most employees have come out publicly to support the fired CEO.
Altman’s dismissal from OpenAI was sudden and not well-planned. He got the news during a video call, surprising both the public, where Altman was the face of AI, and investors like Microsoft. The board made this decision without consulting others, and then-President Greg Brockman, who didn’t attend the board meeting, resigned in protest.
Satya Nadella really wanted Altman back, and he was even thinking about having a Microsoft representative on the OpenAI board, even if they didn’t get to vote.
Investors are probably worried about OpenAI’s future without Altman. Will it keep being super successful? They’re also concerned about the immediate and long-term effects on OpenAI’s shares. And what’s Altman’s plan? Will he start a rival to OpenAI? Employees are threatening to quit in large numbers if Altman doesn’t come back. How will that turn out? The interim CEO, Murati, has already been replaced. She’s in a tough spot. Will she resign or go back to her old job as OpenAI CTO?
All this uncertainty will likely cause a lot of problems in all these areas, no matter what happens in the end.