More than 700 OpenAI employees have signed an open letter threatening to leave the company and go to work at Microsoft if the board of directors does not resign. The move is a response to the decision to oust co-founder Sam Altman as CEO.
In addition to the board’s departure, employees want Altman to return to his position and also that of Greg Brockman, the president who was also fired on Friday.
“[The board’s] actions make it clear that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI,” the letter reads. “We cannot work for or with people who lack competence, discernment and care for our mission and employees.”
The first version of the charter has 505 employees on the list of signatories. According to Maggie Hott, one of OpenAI’s leaders, the number of supporters has already exceeded 700. That means the vast majority are on Altman’s side, as the company has 770 employees.
OpenAI’s team could follow Altman and end up at Microsoft
In the document, the employees threaten to leave OpenAI and go to work in Microsoft’s new artificial intelligence research division, which will be led precisely by Sam Altman.
The announcement of Altman’s hiring was made on Monday (20) by Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. Brockman followed suit and signed with the Redmond giant.
Other former OpenAI employees will also be part of this project, such as research director Jakub Pachochki, research scientist Szymon Sidor, and head of preparation Aleksander Madry.
It is worth remembering that Microsoft is one of the largest investors in OpenAI.
Even Counselor Is Against Advice
One of the names in the letter stands out: it is that of Ilya Sutskever, the company’s chief scientist and one of the members of the four-person board that decided to fire Altman.
On X (formerly Twitter), Sutskever wrote:
“I never meant to hurt OpenAI. I love everything we’ve built together, and I’ll do everything I can to bring the company back together.”