Microsoft has hired OpenAI co-founders Sam Altman and Greg Brockman to lead a “new advanced AI research team,” Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella announced on Monday. The announcement comes hours after OpenAI’s board appointed former Twitch chief Emmett Shear as chief executive officer, defying calls from investors to reinstate the ousted Sam Altman, who co-founded the company in 2015.
“We’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team,” said Nadella. “We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success.”
I’m super excited to have you join as CEO of this new group, Sam, setting a new pace for innovation. We’ve learned a lot over the years about how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios,…
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 20, 2023
Nadella mentioned that Altman and Brockman will be joined by “colleagues,” suggesting that Microsoft may have plans to hire other former OpenAI employees who left the company over the weekend.
Nadella, whose firm has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI, emphasized that Microsoft remains committed to the startup.
“We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners. We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them,” Nadella added.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Altman acknowledged he was joining Microsoft by quoting Nadella, saying “the mission continues.” Nadella then responded by providing a subtle hint at what would be Altman’s role at Microsoft. “We’ve learned a lot over the years about how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn, and I’m looking forward to having you do the same.”