- Microsoft’s CTO Kevin Scott has offered to match compensation for OpenAI employees who may leave after CEO Sam Altman was abruptly fired
- Over 600 OpenAI staff signed a petition threatening to quit unless the board resigns over the surprise removal of Altman
- OpenAI’s future leadership and direction remains uncertain; the board rapidly installed ex-Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as interim chief executive after firing Altman without clear explanation
Microsoft‘s chief technology officer Kevin Scott has offered to match the compensation of OpenAI employees who may leave the AI startup after the surprise removal of CEO Sam Altman. This comes as over 600 OpenAI staff signed a petition threatening to quit unless the board resigns.
Microsoft Makes Offer to OpenAI Staff
In a post on Twitter, Scott said OpenAI employees have “a role at Microsoft that matches your compensation and advances our collective mission” if they want to leave. This indicates Microsoft is willing to hire a significant number of OpenAI staff at the same pay levels. However, Scott did not confirm if the offers depend on Altman also joining Microsoft.
Uncertainty Remains Over OpenAI’s Future
The future leadership of OpenAI is still unclear after the board abruptly fired Altman last Friday, claiming he was not consistently transparent in communications. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has said Altman, along with OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, would join a new Microsoft AI research group.
However, in a later interview Nadella indicated the situation had changed and OpenAI’s governance had to improve. He said Microsoft wants to continue partnering with OpenAI, which depends on key staff staying or moving to Microsoft.
OpenAI Board Appoints New Interim CEO
After Altman’s removal, ex-Twitch CEO Emmett Shear was rapidly installed as OpenAI’s interim chief executive. The board now only has four members, including chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who expressed regret over his role in firing Altman.
The board has not provided more details on why Altman was ousted. It remains possible he could be reinstated at OpenAI, adding further uncertainty over the startup’s future leadership and direction.