Microsoft Matches Pay For All OpenAI Workers
Microsoft will match the salaries of OpenAI employees after most of the struggling business’s staff has threatened to walk out if CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman are not reinstated.
Sam Altman was axed as CEO last week but was then given a job offer at Microsoft to lead “a new advanced AI research team,” a move Altman has not accepted publically.
According to an OpenAI engineer, beyond asking for the CEO and Brockman to be reinstated, 743 out of 770 workers at OpenAI have signed a letter asking the board to resign and demanding other items. OpenAI employees have threatened a mass exit if the demands are left unmet.
Microsoft company’s chief technology officer Kevin Scott, has confirmed they would hire OpenAI employees in a position that “matches your compensation”.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has now confirmed that Altman might not be joining his team, but said that he was “committed to OpenAI and Sam, irrespective of what configuration”.
“Obviously that depends on the people at OpenAI staying there or coming to Microsoft, so I’m open to both options,” he said.
“At this point, I think it’s very, very clear that something has to change around the governance,” asserted Nadella. “We’ll have a good dialogue with their board on that.”
According to Nathan Benaich, a partner at Air Street Capital, which has invested in many AI companies, Nadella’s strategy thus far regarding OpenAI has been genius, and “this is fantastic deal-making,” he said.
“Microsoft has emerged in an even more compelling position. It has the two leaders of OpenAI, it has the ability to attract talent, it has the balance sheet, and it’s building an insane computing infrastructure to the tune of $50bn. This is larger than some of the most ambitious government-funded research projects.”
Throughout the tumult, former head of Twitch Emmett Shear was appointed as the new interim head of OpenAI, but after problematic tweets resurfaced from years ago, he has faced public scrutiny.
Both Shear and OpenAI have remained quiet regarding the tweets and criticism.