More than 500 staffers at OpenAI are calling for the tech company’s board of directors to hand in their resignations and reinstate CEO Sam Altman, whose tumultuous ouster played out over the weekend.
“Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI,” reads a widely shared letter sent to board members and signed by hundreds of workers. “We are unable to work for or with people that lack competence, judgement, and care for our mission and employees.”
Altman was fired Friday by directors who also removed cofounder Greg Brockman from the artificial intelligence company’s board. Wired notes the petition to bring back Altman was signed by lead scientist and board member Ilya Sutskever, who’s blamed for initiating the process leading to his departure. Sutskever wrote on social media he regretted his involvement in the board’s actions and “will do whatever I can to reunite the company.”
OpenAI cut ties with Altman claiming he hadn’t been transparent in his dealings with its board of directors.
“Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities,” the company announced Friday. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
After OpenAI leadership apparently met with their former CEO Sunday, board members reportedly informed staffers Altman wouldn’t return. Microsoft — a major investor in OpenAI —then announced the hiring of Altman and Brockman to its IT research team.
OpenAI workers indicated in their letter that they might join their former CEO and president at Microsoft where they claim “there are positions for all OpenAI employees” should the board of directors ignore their demands. According to the Wall Street Journal, Open AI employs roughly 770 people.
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) November 20, 2023
The company’s stated mission is to create “safe IG that benefits all of humanity.”