Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes that OpenAI should have consulted Microsoft before removing former CEO Sam Altman. He told Kara Swisher’s podcast that it would have been the “very least” the board could have done given Microsoft’s investment in the company.
Nadella explained that Microsoft has invested billions in OpenAI, with both companies using each other’s technology. ChatGPT is used to power Microsoft’s Bing search engine, while OpenAI uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers. However, Microsoft was not aware of Altman’s firing until OpenAI went public with the announcement.
The CEO added that as a partner, he thinks it does deserve to be consulted on big decisions and that someone needs to think about why there is no OpenAI without Microsoft leaning in deeply to partner with the company on its mission.
Last Friday, OpenAI announced Altman’s removal as CEO, stating that he was not consistently candid in his communications with them. This led to a weekend of chaos and ended with the appointment of former Twitch chief Emmett Shear as the new interim CEO of OpenAI. On Monday, Nadella announced that he had hired Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman to head Microsoft’s new advanced AI research team. However, nearly all of OpenAI’s staff are threatening to quit unless the board resigns and Altman returns as CEO.
Nadella seems prepared for this possibility and stated that they will definitely have a place for all AI talent to come here and move forward on the mission, and they will be supportive of whoever remains even at OpenAI or whatever. Representatives for Microsoft and OpenAI did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider outside regular business hours.