Sam Altman’s move to Microsoft is reportedly not a done deal, still trying to return to OpenAI as CEO

The OpenAI saga took an unexpected turn this afternoon after the Verge reported that Sam Altman’s move to Microsoft isn’t a done deal and that Altman is still trying to return to OpenAI as the CEO.

According to The Verge, Sam Altman’s transition to Microsoft might not be finalized. Sources told the tech media powerhouse that Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman are open to returning to OpenAI if the board members responsible for their dismissal step down. The situation became more intriguing as co-founder Ilya Sutskever flipped to supporting Altman, meaning that only two board members needed to change their minds.

“Sam Altman’s surprise move to Microsoft after his shock firing at OpenAI isn’t a done deal. He and co-founder Greg Brockman are still willing to return to OpenAI if the remaining board members who fired him step aside,” The Verge reported, citing multiple sources familiar with the ongoing situation.

As we reported a few hours ago, Stuskever, the creator of ChatGPT-4 and an OpenAI board member, publicly expressed regret for his role in the decision that resulted in the dismissal of Sam Altman.

“I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we’ve built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company,” Sutskever shared on X.

Meanwhile, on Monday morning, 505 of 700 OpenAI employees threatened to quit and join Sam Altman at Microsoft if the board doesn’t resign.

“We, the undersigned, may choose to resign from OpenAI and join the newly announced Microsoft subsidiary run by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman,” OpenAI staff said in the letter.

It all started on Friday when Altman was unexpectedly fired by OpenAI’s board without any prior notice, not even to Microsoft, which had invested a substantial $13 billion in the creator of ChatGPT. Brockman resigned in protest, causing significant upheaval at the influential tech company.

The exact reasons for Altman’s firing remain unclear, with the board citing a “breakdown in communications” rather than any misconduct. However, reports suggest a disagreement over Altman’s ambitious plans for rapid growth. Some board members, concerned about the potential risks of AI, preferred a more cautious approach, contrasting with Altman’s push to commercialize the powerful ChatGPT chatbot quickly.

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