505 OpenAI employees threaten to quit after Sam Altman’s firing

(CNN) — Hundreds of OpenAI employees are demanding and threatening to resign from the board of directors of the company that created ChatGPT, after a turbulent weekend that began with the surprise ouster of CEO Sam Altman and ended with Altman being hired by part of Microsoft.

In a letter obtained by CNN, more than 500 employees accused OpenAI’s board of mishandling Altman’s dismissal.

“His actions have made clear that he is incapable of overseeing OpenAI,” the employees wrote.

“We cannot work for or with people who lack competence, judgment, and care for our mission and our people.” Employees also warned that they would “imminently” follow Altman to Microsoft unless the board resigns and reinstates Altman and Greg Brockman, the former head of OpenAI who was also ousted by the board on Friday.

The signatories include Mira Moratti, whom the board named on Friday as Altman’s interim successor, as well as Ilya Sutskever, chief scientist at OpenAI, who reportedly played a key role in Altman’s ouster. Moratti’s promotion was replaced by the appointment of Emmett Shear as interim CEO. Cher, 40, is the co-founder of Twitch, a live streaming company

This Monday, after news of the letter was published, Sutskever Published in X He apologized, acknowledging his contribution to a leadership crisis that appeared to revolve around tensions between Altman and the board over the pace and scope of AI development.

“I deeply regret my involvement in the board’s actions,” he said. “I never meant any harm to OpenAI. “I love everything we’ve built together and will do everything I can to keep the company together.”

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The letter highlights internal divisions at OpenAI that came to light after Altman’s firing and raises further questions about the fate of OpenAI’s three non-employee board members. This list includes Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner, director of strategy and basic research grants at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology.

As they sought to manage the fallout from Altman’s dismissal, according to the letter, board members told the “leadership team that allowing the company to be destroyed “would be consistent with the mission” of OpenAI, which is “to ensure that the tools that AGI provides will benefit all of humanity.”

The rebuke from some of OpenAI’s senior staff also underscores Altman’s loyalty and Microsoft’s opportunity to take advantage of the situation.

“Microsoft has assured us that there are jobs for all OpenAI employees,” the letter adds.

After Sutskever published his letter to X, Altman amplified the apology and added a brief comment consisting of Three heart emojis.

Myrtle Frost

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