The majority of OpenAI employees are threatening to resign unless the board reinstates the former CEO Sam Altman and ex-president Greg Brockman. Over 500 employees, including executives, initially signed a letter to the board, and the number of signatories grew to over 700 by Monday afternoon.
The controversies began on Friday when Altman was fired, and the board expressed a lack of confidence in his leadership. Brockman resigned as chairman soon after. Altman and Brockman attempted to negotiate with the board over the weekend but were unsuccessful, leading to the appointment of former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as OpenAI’s interim chief executive.
Meanwhile, Microsoft hired Altman, Brockman, and several former OpenAI colleagues to lead a new advanced AI research team, causing a stir as Microsoft is OpenAI’s biggest investor. Despite this, it is not yet certain that Altman and Brockman have secured new positions at Microsoft. The possibility of their return to OpenAI remains if the board steps aside.
Employees are accusing the board of acting against the best interests of the company and have threatened to resign and join the new Microsoft subsidiary led by Altman and Brockman, should the board refuse to resign and reinstate the former executives.
The OpenAI board member and chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, who reportedly coordinated the action against Altman, has expressed regret and pledged to reunite the company. This update comes as more than 700 OpenAI employees have now signed the letter.