Nov 20 (Reuters) – OpenAI’s board of directors has contacted the CEO of rival Anthropic about replacing chief Sam Altman and a possible merger of the two AI startups, according to two people briefed on the matter.
Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei declined on both fronts, the sources said.
The news, reported earlier by The Information on Monday, follows various calls to find Altman’s successor days after he was ousted by OpenAI’s board.
OpenAI declined to comment, and board member Adam D’Angelo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Sunday, the board proposed former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear to be interim head, and he accepted. Meanwhile, Altman agreed to join Microsoft (MSFT.O), the startup’s backer, along with other key members of OpenAI. On Monday, nearly all of the startup’s more than 700 employees threatened to resign, including one of its executives on the now four-person board of directors.
Anthropic’s co-founders, who were also executives at OpenAI until 2020, had broken up with their employer over disagreements over how to ensure the safe development and governance of AI.
Anthropic has won investments from Google and Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O) Amazon.com (AMZN.O). Its Claude AI models compete for notoriety with OpenAI’s GPT series.
Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco and Urvi Dugar in Bangalore; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Sam Holmes
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