OpenAI Employees Demand Resignation of Board Members, Consider Joining Sam Altman's New Venture

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  • 11/21/2023
According to NBCNews, a significant number of OpenAI employees, including Ilya Sutskever who is a co-founder and board member, have expressed their demand for the resignation of the remaining board members at OpenAI. Alternatively, these employees have stated their intention to join Sam Altman's new venture at Microsoft.

The letter asserts that the recipient's actions have clearly demonstrated their inability to effectively supervise OpenAI. The letter has been signed by approximately 667 individuals. OpenAI, a leading artificial intelligence research laboratory, currently employs approximately 770 individuals.

According to the letter, Microsoft has provided reassurance to its employees regarding job opportunities at the new subsidiary. The employees are informed that they will have the option to join the subsidiary if they wish to do so.

Some of OpenAI's most senior executives are among the signatories. The letter is signed by Mira Murati, the former interim CEO, and Brad Lightcap, the COO of OpenAI. After Altman's departure, Murati was chosen as the CEO. However, Murati was later replaced by Emmett Shear, who is one of the co-founders of Twitch.

The letter was initially reported by Wired on Monday morning.

Sutskever's name is seen as a signature on the letter, marking a sudden change in his position or stance. On Monday morning, the individual expressed their remorse on the social media platform X, previously known as Twitter, regarding their involvement in the decisions made by the board.

Support for OpenAI was expressed by several employees on various social media platforms. The statement emphasizes the significance of OpenAI's personnel in the organization's overall functioning and success.

On Friday, Altman's departure from OpenAI was compelled by the board, which included Sutskever. The board cited concerns regarding Altman's communications, although the specific issues were not disclosed. According to previous reports by CNBC, the actions taken by the company resulted in a negative response from both employees and investors, such as Microsoft, Thrive Capital, and Sequoia.

Afterwards, the board made an effort to engage in negotiations with Altman in order to secure his return. However, despite their best efforts, these talks ultimately proved to be unsuccessful. On Sunday, Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, made an announcement regarding the collaboration between Microsoft and OpenAI. He revealed that Altman and Greg Brockman, the co-founders of OpenAI, would be joining Microsoft in a new venture. This new venture is expected to operate with a significant level of independence. In Nadella's announcement, he mentioned that Microsoft would be welcoming "colleagues" to their team, although the specific number of individuals was not specified.

Microsoft's stance on hiring employees who decide to depart from OpenAI remains undisclosed as the company has chosen not to provide any official statement on the matter. OpenAI has not yet provided a comment in response to the letter.


Here is the complete note, with emphasis added by the user:

“To the Board of Directors at OpenAI,

OpenAI is the world’s leading AI company. We, the employees of OpenAI, have developed the best models and pushed the field to new frontiers. Our work on AI safety and governance shapes global norms. The products we built are used by millions of people around the world. Until now, the company we work for and cherish has never been in a stronger position.

The process through which you terminated Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and company. Your conduct has made it clear you did not have the competence to oversee OpenAI.

When we all unexpectedly learned of your decision, the leadership team of OpenAI acted swiftly to stabilize the company. They carefully listened to your concerns and tried to cooperate with you on all grounds. Despite many requests for specific facts for your allegations, you have never provided any written evidence. They also increasingly realized you were not capable of carrying out your duties, and were negotiating in bad faith.

The leadership team suggested that the most stabilizing path forward - the one that would best serve our mission, company, stakeholders, employees and the public - would be for you to resign and put in place a qualified board that could lead the company forward in stability. Leadership worked with you around the clock to find a mutually agreeable outcome. Yet within two days of your initial decision, you again replaced interim CEO Mira Murati against the best interests of the company. You also informed the leadership team that allowing the company to be destroyed “would be consistent with the mission.”

Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI. We are unable to work for or with people that lack competence, judgement and care for our mission and employees. We, the undersigned, may choose to resign from OpenAI and 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. 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.”


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