Majority Of OpenAI Employees Say Will Quit If Sam Altman Isn’t Reinstated As CEO: Report
The OpenAI chaos has escalated further as a majority of the company’s workforce expressed their intention to resign unless the board steps down and reinstates former CEO Sam Altman and ex-president Greg Brockman. According to reports from Wired and Kara Swisher, approximately 500 employees, including several executives, at OpenAI have signed the letter.
The number of individuals endorsing the letter had surged to over 700, as reported by news agency Bloomberg. This comprises nearly the entire workforce of around 770 employees at OpenAI. Notably, Chief Technical Officer Mira Murati, who briefly assumed the top role over the weekend, emphasized on X that “OpenAI is nothing without its people”.
It is being said that over the weekend, Altman and Brockman engaged in key discussions with OpenAI’s board in a bid to reclaim their positions. However, these talks did not result in a favourable outcome for the former CEO and chairman. Late on Sunday night, it was revealed that the board had chosen to appoint former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as the interim chief executive of OpenAI, the developer of viral AI chatbot ChatGPT.
Shear is the co-founder of Twitch and remained the company’s CEO until March of this year. Earlier in March, Shear quit Twitch right before a big round of layoffs. Twitch witnessed another round of last month.
Meanwhile, the abrupt change in leadership at OpenAI comes as a shock, given Altman’s prominent position as the face of generative AI and his instrumental role in steering the AI firm’s transition from a non-profit organisation to a commercially viable entity.
It is to be noted that Altman was ousted by the company due to a perceived lack of transparency in his communications, the media has reported.
He allegedly clashed with board members who expressed concerns about the pace of his initiatives, especially in relation to the safety implications of a technology that, if unchecked, could generate content with potential harm to the public. Shear’s hiring at OpenAI comes soon after the firm sacked Altman on Friday and the board said he had not been “consistently candid in his communications”.