OpenAI Should’ve ‘Consulted’ Microsoft Before Firing Sam Altman
- Satya Nadella says OpenAI should’ve ‘consulted’ Microsoft before firing former CEO Sam Altman.
- It would’ve been the “very least” the board could have done, he told Kara Swisher’s podcast.
- Microsoft only learned of Altman’s removal when OpenAI went public with the announcement.
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.
Microsoft, however, wasn’t aware of Altman’s firing until OpenAI went public with the announcement.
The Microsoft CEO told the “On with Kara Swisher” podcast: “It’s not even the money and the capital. I mean, here’s a simple way to think about this. Sam chose Microsoft once. Sam chose Microsoft twice. Someone’s got to think about why? There is no OpenAI without sort of Microsoft leaning in, in a deep way, to partner with this company on their mission.”
Nadella added: “As a partner, I think it does deserve you to be consulted on big decisions.”
Last Friday, OpenAI abruptly announced Altman’s firing as CEO. The board said in a statement that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications” with them, but did not give further details.
On Monday, Nadella announced that he’d hired Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman to head Microsoft’s new advanced AI research team.
But it seems that the drama isn’t over yet, with nearly all of OpenAI’s staff threatening to quit unless the board resigns and Altman returns as CEO. Nadella seems to be prepared for this possibility.
“We will definitely have a place for all AI talent to come here and move forward on the mission, and we will be supportive of whoever remains even at OpenAI or whatever,” Nadella told Swisher.
Representatives for Microsoft and OpenAI did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider, sent outside regular business hours.