The departure of Sam Altman from OpenAI has exposed the tech company to potential career gaps as more employees threaten to step down. In a recent update, the OpenAI core team demanded the board to reconsider its decision and return Altman.
In response to the employee’s demand, Anna Makanju, the vice president of global affairs at the startup, issued an internal memo confirming that OpenAI was engaging in “intense discussion” to back its leadership transition plan.
OpenAI Hit by Employees Exodus
The executive stated that the OpenAI seeks to unify the board, management, and outgoing CEO. Also, the OpenAI team plans to bring on board the newly appointed chief executive Emmett Shear. After a lengthy discussion with the OpenAI management, Makanju admitted that the tech firm might not be in a position to share its final thoughts concerning the Altman case.
The memo was released days after the OpenAI board of directors fired Mr. Altman. Surprisingly, the dismissal of Altman exposed OpenAI to a major exodus of its top executives.
In a recent report, OpenAI key players in the research division, including Jakub Pachocki, Aleksander Madry, and Szymon Sidor, revealed plans to leave office. Also, the president of the OpenAI board of directors, Greg Brockman, announced plans to step down.
The departure of OpenAI top executives widened the professional gaps at the startup, forcing other employees to seek other viable opportunities. According to Reuters, approximately 90% of OpenAI staff are at the edge of leaving the office.
OpenAI Investors Seeks for Reinstatement of Former CEO
Shortly after leaving OpenAI, Altman announced plans to start a new venture. Based on his past achievements and extensive experience in tech and innovation, some of the OpenAI employees are willing to join Altman to support the establishment of the new entity.
Elsewhere, other OpenAI supporters and business associates have started campaigns to bring back Altman. These campaigns are led by Thrive Capital, Tiger Global, and Khosla Ventures. Despite the efforts made to bring Altman back to OpenAI, it seems that the outgoing CEO has a better deal.
A few days ago, the giant tech company Microsoft appointed Altman as a senior executive to support the company in expanding its artificial intelligence capabilities. The appointment of Altman aligns with Microsoft’s objective of leveraging the power of AI to support tech developments and improve the well-being of the community.
Following Altman’s appointment at Microsoft, the executive will only return to OpenAI under prescribed conditions. A source familiar with the information stated that Microsoft has published the condition that Altman can only return to OpenAI.
OpenAI Struggles to Keep Employees from Leaving
With the sudden change in OpenAI management, the Microsoft team has suggested that Altman can only return to OpenAI if the current board of directors is dissolved. The giant tech firm also advised OpenAI to consider restructuring its governance to sustain the remaining employees and attract new talents.
A review of the current OpenAI governance model demonstrated that the startup has adopted an “unusual non-profit governance system” that grants the board of directors overall control over the startup.
The power conferred to the board aims at supporting the management to attain its core objective of humanity. Unlike other governance models, the OpenAI restricts the investors from interfering with the board’s interests.
In an exclusive interview with CNBC, the chief executive of Microsoft, Satya Nadella, revisited last week’s events and advised the OpenAI team to consider improving the existing governance structure. The CEO silenced the tide of criticism that Microsoft faced after it appointed Altman for a top-level executive role.
In her address, Nadella admitted that the Microsoft team was willing to partner with OpenAI. The CEO confessed that Altman would continue working for Microsoft.