Sun. Dec 10th, 2023
    Microsoft CTO Offers Compensation Match to OpenAI Employees Amidst Uncertain Future

    Amidst the uncertainty surrounding the future of OpenAI following the sudden ouster of CEO Sam Altman, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott has made a significant offer to the disgruntled employees considering leaving the company. Scott has pledged to match their compensation if they decide to join Microsoft’s new AI Research Lab, acknowledging their desire to follow Altman.

    In a tweet posted on Tuesday, Scott addressed the OpenAI employees, expressing appreciation for their petition and their potential interest in joining Altman at Microsoft. He emphasized Microsoft’s commitment to supporting their collective mission and assured them that if needed, they would be offered roles at Microsoft with matching compensation.

    While it remains unclear whether Altman’s presence is a prerequisite for the compensation offer, Scott’s statement sheds light on Microsoft’s willingness to invest in talent and hire a significant number of OpenAI employees. However, no further details regarding the size of the potential employment at Microsoft or Altman’s plans have been disclosed yet.

    Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had previously announced that Altman, along with Greg Brockman and other colleagues, would be joining Microsoft’s new AI research group. This move prompted over 600 OpenAI employees to sign a letter to the company’s board, threatening to leave unless the members resigned.

    Nadella acknowledged the need for governance changes at OpenAI during an interview with CNBC, highlighting Microsoft’s commitment and partnership with the company. The final decision on whether OpenAI employees will stay or move to Microsoft ultimately depends on the individuals involved, but Nadella asserted that Microsoft’s commitment to innovation will not waver.

    The circumstances surrounding Altman’s departure from OpenAI have caused a significant upheaval within the company. Altman was fired by the board, citing a lack of consistent communication. After a weekend of negotiations, Emmett Shear, former CEO of Twitch, was appointed as interim head.

    OpenAI’s board currently consists of Ilya Sutskever, the company’s chief scientist who participated in the letter threatening to leave, along with Adam D’Angelo, Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner. The board has not provided further details on the reasons behind Altman’s ouster.

    As OpenAI faces an uncertain future, Microsoft’s offer of compensation matching provides employees with an alternative path and potential stability amid an unstable transition period. Whether Altman will have a role at Microsoft or make a return to OpenAI is yet to be determined, leaving both companies and their employees awaiting further updates and decisions.


    1. What is OpenAI?

    OpenAI is an artificial intelligence research laboratory and company that aims to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.

    2. Why was Sam Altman ousted as CEO of OpenAI?

    Altman was fired by OpenAI’s board due to concerns over his lack of consistent communication with them.

    3. What is Microsoft’s offer to OpenAI employees?

    Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott has offered to match the compensation of OpenAI employees if they choose to join Microsoft’s new AI Research Lab.

    4. How did OpenAI employees respond to Altman’s ouster?

    Over 600 OpenAI employees signed a letter to the company’s board, threatening to leave unless the members resigned.

    5. Who is currently leading OpenAI?

    Emmett Shear, former CEO of Twitch, has been appointed as interim head of OpenAI following Sam Altman’s departure.