In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella found himself in a rather uncertain position regarding the recent hiring of former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman. The announcement of their addition to Microsoft’s advanced AI research team had initially caused the company’s stock price to soar. However, recent developments have left Nadella reconsidering his stance.
In an interview with CNBC’s Jon Fortt, Nadella expressed his commitment to OpenAI and Altman, regardless of the configuration. He mentioned that Microsoft had chosen to partner with OpenAI, depending on the involvement of its key people. Nadella stated that he was open to both Altman and Brockman joining Microsoft, but he also expressed the desire for their success and happiness, whether that meant staying at OpenAI or finding a new home within Microsoft.
The situation took an unexpected turn when Altman’s position as OpenAI CEO was abruptly terminated by the OpenAI board. It seems that Nadella wishes he could turn back the clock to a time before these unfortunate events unfolded. However, he clarified in his interviews that the decision regarding Altman and the potential inclusion of OpenAI employees in Microsoft is ultimately up to the OpenAI board and management, as well as the employees themselves.
To reassure investors and anxious OpenAI customers, Nadella emphasized that Microsoft already possesses its own advanced AI capabilities. He highlighted the company’s ongoing AI work, implying that they are well-prepared to handle any potential changes stemming from the partnership with OpenAI.
During an interview with Bloomberg TV, anchor Emily Chang probed Nadella for more information about the hiring of Altman and Brockman. Although Nadella confirmed that they were in the process of joining Microsoft, he quickly shifted the conversation back to Microsoft’s internal AI endeavors, suggesting that the specifics of their employment status were not his main focus.
Reading between the lines, it becomes evident that Nadella shares a desire with Altman and the discontented OpenAI employees: the removal of the OpenAI board. Although he did not explicitly state this, Nadella seemed more inclined to discuss potential governance changes during his Bloomberg TV interview in an effort to ensure a smooth and successful partnership.
As of now, it remains unclear whether Altman and Brockman will ultimately become Microsoft employees or if Altman will continue as CEO. Sources have reported that Altman has not yet appeared in Microsoft’s corporate directory, but given the nature of last-minute deals, it is not surprising. The lack of internal company-wide memos detailing the appointments also raises questions about the current status.
In conclusion, the situation surrounding Altman’s role and the potential integration of OpenAI employees into Microsoft is still uncertain. Nadella’s statements indicate a desire for a positive outcome for Altman and Brockman, be it at Microsoft or elsewhere. The future course of events will undoubtedly shed light on the next chapter in this intricate narrative.