USA | Nov 20, 2023

Chaos at OpenAI as employees demand board’s resignation, CEO reinstatement

Shemar-Leslie Louisy

Shemar-Leslie Louisy / Our Today

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Ilya Sutskever, co-founder of OpenAI (Photo: X @ilyasut)

As the turmoil at OpenAI that has resulted in the removal of its CEO and founder Sam Altman, and the resignation of fellow co-founder Greg Brockman continues, over 500 employees, including former CTO and former interim CEO Mira Murati and co-founder Ilya Sutskever, have signed a scathing letter calling for the removal of the board of directors and reinstatement of the ousted executives.

The letter outlines the employees’ concerns over recent decisions by the board, including the termination of Altman and the removal of Greg Brockman from the board. The letter accuses the board of lacking competence and judgment in overseeing OpenAI and claims that these decisions have not only jeopardised the company’s standing, but have also undermined its mission and work in the field of AI safety and governance, which has set global norms.

In a message on his X, formerly known as Twitter, Sutskever, who led the board rebellion at the company to force out Altman, said: “I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we’ve built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company.”

OpenAI logo is seen in this illustration taken, February 3, 2023. (File Photo: REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration)

According to the letter, despite numerous requests for evidence supporting the allegations against Altman and Brockman, the board reportedly failed to provide any written documentation. The situation escalated when, within two days of the initial decision, interim CEO Mira Murati was replaced against the best interests of the company.

The letter concludes with a strong ultimatum from the employees who demand the resignation of all current board members and the appointment of two new lead independent directors, such as Bret Taylor and Will Hurd. Additionally, they call for the reinstatement of Altman and Brockman to their respective positions. The employees have threatened their resignation to join the newly announced Microsoft subsidiary led by Altman and Brockman.

Microsoft has reportedly assured the employees that there are positions available for all OpenAI staff at the new subsidiary.

READ: Microsoft emerges as clear winner from OpenAI turmoil with Altman on board


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