"Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees ...” Redmond's (not so) quiet coup of ChatGPT maker could reach dizzying heights today

OpenAI staffers joining Microsoft
(Image credit: Windows Central | Bing Image Creator)

What you need to know

  • OpenAI could potentially lose more of its employees to Microsoft following the board of directors decision to fire Sam Altman.
  • The employees penned a letter to the board of directors to express their plight and request the to reinstate Altman.
  • They further indicated that the decision undermined their mission and vision at the company.

In what might be perhaps the most significant news this month, OpenAI's Sam Altman was recently dismissed from the company following a decision by the board of directors. The news was received with mixed reactions. Shortly after, Altman took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce his new appointment at Microsoft as head of the advanced AI research team alongside former OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman.

Throughout the day, I've stumbled upon numerous posts on X stating, "OpenAI is nothing without its people." And now, OpenAI could potentially lose more of its staff to Microsoft. 

As spotted by Wired, more than 500 OpenAI employees have highlighted that "Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees at this new subsidiary should we choose to join."

According to the letter addressed to the company's board of directors, the employees said they'll leave OpenAI if Altman and Brockman aren't reinstated.

Will Sam Altman go back to OpenAI?

But this ship has seemingly sailed and taken a completely different route because former Twitch CEO and co-founder Emmett Shear has already been appointed interim CEO. Not forgetting that Altman and Brockman have already taken up new positions at Microsoft.

In the letter, the employees indicated that the board of directors undermined their mission and vision by making the drastic move. They also stated that OpenAI was on course to achieve great things without compromising the safety of the users.

As we speak, 700 employees have already appended their signatures to the letter. According to Swisher, the number is likely to rise. 

It's not yet clear what direction Altman's team at the Advanced AI department will take in steering Microsoft forward; however, it certainly would continue to develop Microsoft's Copilot efforts. 

What are your thoughts on these developments? Let us know in the comments.

Kevin Okemwa

Kevin Okemwa is a seasoned tech journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya with lots of experience covering the latest trends and developments in the industry at Windows Central. With a passion for innovation and a keen eye for detail, he has written for leading publications such as OnMSFT, MakeUseOf, and Windows Report, providing insightful analysis and breaking news on everything revolving around the Microsoft ecosystem. You'll also catch him occasionally contributing at iMore about Apple and AI. While AFK and not busy following the ever-emerging trends in tech, you can find him exploring the world or listening to music.