In a surprise move, Microsoft announced the hiring of Sam Altman, co-founder and former number one of OpenAI, as part of a new artificial intelligence research team. The company’s stock rose 1.6% in early trading and is now trading around 1% after the announcement. Altman was dismissed from OpenAI last Friday, which came as a shock to many in the world of artificial intelligence.
Shortly after his departure, former Twitch boss Emmett Shear announced that he had accepted the position as OpenAI’s interim number one. Shear said his decision was made “in a matter of hours” and described it as “the opportunity of a lifetime.” He plans to launch an independent investigation within 30 days to shed light on Altman’s firing and the upheaval within the start-up.
The news comes after a tumultuous weekend for OpenAI. On Friday, the board of directors unexpectedly announced the immediate firing of Sam Altman following “a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that it was not always blunt in his communications, impeding his ability to fulfill his responsibilities.” The body no longer has “confidence in its ability to lead OpenAI,” it added.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote on X that “the mission continues” and that he is excited about the new team joining Microsoft. Sam Altman reacted saying, “We are going to build something new and it will be incredible.”