650 OpenAI (ChatGPT) employees threaten to join Microsoft if Sam Altman doesn’t return

The fiasco at OpenAI continues, as 650 of the company’s 770 employees demand the resignation of the board of directors and the return of Sam Altman and Greg Brockman. The future of ChatGPT’s creator is more up in the air than ever.

Nothing goes right at OpenAI, which is more on the brink of implosion than ever. In one weekend, the creator of ChatGPT went from a popular company to a company in complete self-destruction. The board of directors decided to fire Sam Altman, co-founder and CEO, without justification. In one weekend, from November 17 to 19, 2023, OpenAI had three CEOs (Sam Altman, Mira Murati, and then Emmett Shear). The company led people to believe for a few hours that it would rehabilitate Sam Altman before abruptly changing its mind despite pleas from Microsoft and other investors. Since then, Sam Altman and part of his team announced that they would be joining Microsoft to continue their mission.

In the aftermath of this “coup”, 650 employees sent a letter to OpenAI’s board of directors, who proved this to be true “incompetent”. They demand changes and threaten to resign and join Microsoft and Sam Altman.

OpenAI is destroying itself

650 signatories, representing the majority of OpenAI employees (wage bill estimated at 770 in November 2023). Others could follow suit in the coming hours, as not everyone is awake and aware of the initiative yet. An initial version of this article mentioned 500 employees.

In their letter, OpenAI employees lament the incompetence of the board of directors, which not only failed to justify the reasons for Sam Altman’s dismissal, but also wiped out months of work in one decision. Employees say they are proud to have propelled OpenAI to a position of strength, but fear all their achievements will be undone by a board that has chosen not to protect the company’s interests.

Sam Altman.  // Source: NumeramaSam Altman.  // Source: Numerama
Sam Altman. // Source: Numerama

In the letter, ironically signed by Ilya Sutskever, one of the voters who fired Sam Altman but who has since said he regrets itOpenAI’s 650 employees are blackmailing their management. They demand the resignation of the board of directors and the return of Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, as well as the arrival of new independent directors. If OpenAI doesn’t listen, they will all resign to join Microsoft.

The full OpenAI employee letter

Certainly Wired, You can read the letter in its entirety. We asked ChatGPT to translate it into French, if you want to check it out in full. In any case, this new twist suggests that Sam Altman’s future has not yet been decided and that his arrival at Microsoft is far from final.

The letter :

“For the attention of the OpenAI Board of Directors:

OpenAI is the leading AI company in the world. We, the people at OpenAI, have developed the best models and pushed the boundaries of the field. Our work in AI security and management shapes global standards. The products we create are used by millions of people around the world. Until now, the company we work for and love has never been in a stronger position.

The process by which you fired Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board jeopardized all this work and undermined our mission and our company. Your behavior has clearly shown that you do not have the competence to oversee OpenAI.

When we all unexpectedly learned of your decision, OpenAI’s management team acted quickly to stabilize the company. She listened carefully to your concerns and tried to cooperate with you in every way possible. Despite numerous requests for specific facts to support your allegations, you have never provided written evidence. They also gradually discovered that you were unable to perform your duties and that you were negotiating in bad faith.

The leadership team suggested that the most stabilizing path forward – the path that would best serve our mission, our company, our stakeholders, our employees and the public – would be for you to step down and establish a board of directors. the company on the road to stability.

Management has worked with you day and night to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome. But two days after your initial decision, you again replaced interim CEO Mira Murati, against the best interests of the company. You also informed the leadership team that allowing the destruction of the company would be “aligned with the mission.”

Your actions have clearly demonstrated your inability to oversee OpenAI. We cannot work for or with people who lack the skills, judgment and care for our mission and our people. We, the undersigned, may choose to resign from OpenAI and join Microsoft’s new subsidiary led by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman. »

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