Nadella on OpenAI’s Governance Changes



Key Takeaways

  • Satya Nadella emphasizes governance changes at OpenAI.
  • Microsoft open to welcoming former OpenAI executives and employees.

Nadella Addresses OpenAI’s Governance

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, in a conversation with CNBC’s Jon Fortt, expressed that a change in OpenAI’s governance structure is necessary following the abrupt firing of CEO Sam Altman. Nadella indicated that Microsoft would actively engage in dialogue with OpenAI’s board regarding these changes.

Uncertainty Over Altman’s Future

While Nadella reassured that the vital AI research and partnership with Microsoft continue, he did not clarify the future roles of Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman. Early statements suggested they might join Microsoft, but developments throughout the day brought this into question.

Letter from OpenAI Employees

Following Altman’s ouster, hundreds of OpenAI employees signed a letter demanding the board’s resignation, threatening to join Altman at Microsoft. Nadella emphasized that the decision to stay or move to Microsoft lies with OpenAI employees, assuring that Microsoft remains committed to innovation regardless.

 Potential Reinstatement of Altman

Speculation about Altman’s possible return to OpenAI intensified on Saturday, with investors like Microsoft, Tiger Global, Thrive Capital, and Sequoia Capital reportedly seeking to reverse the board’s decision. Altman’s affectionate post about the OpenAI team fueled further speculation.

Microsoft’s Respect for OpenAI’s Roots

Nadella stressed Microsoft’s respect for OpenAI’s nonprofit origins and concurred with the ethos that AI development should be safe and responsible. He highlighted Microsoft’s commitment to addressing technology’s benefits and unintended consequences from the outset.