Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced early Monday that the tech giant is hiring ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and OpenAI president Greg Brockman “to lead a new advanced AI research team” after the OpenAI board fired Altman on Friday and Brockman subsequently quit in protest.
“We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners. We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them,” Nadella posted on X, referring to OpenAI’s newly named interim CEO Shear, the cofounder of Twitch. “And we’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success.”
Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI, was reportedly working to reinstate Altman and Brockman at OpenAI as recently as late Sunday. But the OpenAI board confirmed Sunday that Altman would not return, setting Microsoft’s stock up for a potentially calamitous market open. Nadella’s decision to swoop in and hire Altman and Brockman will likely spare Microsoft’s share price and leaves Microsoft with the best of both worlds—an enormously powerful stake in OpenAI and two sought-after OpenAI founders as its newest employees.