Microsoft has brought on board Sam Altman, the previous CEO of OpenAI
Altman got let go of OpenAI last Friday because the board lost faith in his leadership. After talks to bring Altman back fell through, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, announced that both Altman and Greg Brockman would lead a new AI research team at Microsoft.
Nadella said, “We’re super excited that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, along with their team, will lead a fresh AI research group at Microsoft. We’re gearing up to support them fully.”
Altman confirmed his move to Microsoft on a platform called X (formerly Twitter) by sharing Nadella’s message with the words “the mission continues.” Nadella hinted that Altman would have the freedom to build something unique at Microsoft, similar to other companies like GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn.
Right after this, Altman joined Microsoft, following unsuccessful negotiations to return as OpenAI’s CEO. Emmett Shear, ex-CEO of Twitch, stepped in as the interim CEO at OpenAI. He took over from Mira Murati, who temporarily filled in after Altman’s surprising dismissal.
Altman tried to negotiate his return as OpenAI’s CEO, but the board wouldn’t step down. Reports say he was discussing a new startup to create AI chips, nicknamed “Tigris,” similar to Nvidia’s chips. This attracted attention from major investors and even caught Microsoft’s interest.
Now, Microsoft has set up a new team led by Altman and Brockman for advanced AI research. This move comes shortly after Microsoft unveiled its own AI chip and Arm-based CPU, aimed at powering its Azure data centers.
Altman and OpenAI had been working with Microsoft on refining and testing the Maia AI chip. Even though Microsoft downplayed its impact on their partnership with Nvidia, the Maia GPU is just the beginning, with plans for a second generation already underway.
Microsoft holds a hefty investment in OpenAI, reportedly around $10 billion. They are the exclusive cloud partner for OpenAI, providing the computing power for all of OpenAI’s work across various products and research.