- Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott has proposed matching pay for OpenAI employees considering leaving the company following Sam Altman’s surprise ouster.
- Early Monday morning, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said Altman, Greg Brockman and their colleagues would join Microsoft as part of a new AI research group.
- But OpenAI’s future still hangs in the balance, as Altman’s return to the company isn’t completely out of the question.
Greg Brockman, president and co-founder of OpenAI, and Kevin Scott, Microsoft’s chief technology officer, speak on stage at Microsoft’s Build conference in Seattle on May 23, 2023.
Dan DeLong | Microsoft
Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott on Tuesday offered to offer matching compensation to the hundreds of OpenAI employees who are threatening to resign following the sudden ouster of Sam Altman as CEO.
“To my partners at OpenAI: we have seen your petition and appreciate your desire to potentially join Sam Altman at Microsoft’s new AI research lab,” Scott said Tuesday in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter . “Please know that when needed, you have a role at Microsoft that matches your compensation and advances our collective mission.”
It’s not immediately clear whether the offer is contingent on Altman’s employment at Microsoft. Scott did not respond to CNBC’s request for comment on X. But the comment provides some clarity on what Microsoft is willing to pay employees and how much it would hire.
The future of OpenAI is still uncertain and it is still unclear where Altman will work.
Early Monday morning, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Altman, Greg Brockman, who resigned as president of OpenAI, and their colleagues would join Microsoft as part of a new research group on technology. ‘AI. More than 600 OpenAI employees then signed a letter to the company’s board of directors and threatened to join their former boss at Microsoft unless the members resigned.
In his first press interview since Altman’s ouster, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC on Monday: “At this point, I think it’s very clear that something needs to change around the governance” of OpenAI. Nadella did not say with certainty during the interview that Altman and Brockman were joining Microsoft, showing that the situation had changed from statements made earlier in the day.
“We chose to explicitly partner with OpenAI and we want to continue to do so,” Nadella told CNBC. “Obviously it depends on whether the OpenAI people stay there or come to Microsoft. So I’m open to both options, but one thing I won’t do is stop innovating.”
OpenAI’s board of directors fired Altman on Friday after determining he was “not always candid in his communications” with them, according to a statement. After a long weekend of negotiations aimed at possibly reinstating Altman at the company, former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear announced that he had been named interim CEO.
OpenAI’s board of directors now consists of just four people: OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who signed the departure threat letter, Adam D’Angelo, Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner. They did not elaborate on the reasoning behind Altman’s ouster. Sutskever expressed his deep “regrets” for his participation in the board’s decision in a message published Monday
–Jordan Novet of CNBC contributed to this report.
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