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Microsoft, Investors Stand Solidly Behind ‘Once In A Generation’ CEO Sam Altman, Putting OpenAI Board Under Pressure – Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG), Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN)


The OpenAI saga continued to play out over the weekend with a lot of twists and turns. Former CEO Sam Altman and fellow co-founder Greg Brockman reportedly received a lot of support from big investors and employees following their exit, increasing their chances of being reinstated.

Microsoft, Investors Stand In Solidarity: Microsoft Corp. MSFT CEO Satya Nadella is reportedly in touch with Altman and has pledged support for the latter’s next endeavors, according to Bloomberg. Microsoft was reportedly in the dark about the shocking management change that took place on Friday.

Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives said in a note on Saturday that he now expects Microsoft to exert more control over OpenAI. He also said he sees “more disruption from a OpenAI board/company perspective over the coming months.” “This is the time for Microsoft to now essentially take this over strategically speaking,” he said.

Ives also raised the possibility of Microsoft’s AI rivals Amazon, Inc. AMZN and Alphabet, Inc. GOOGL GOOG taking advantage of the development.

Altman’s unceremonious dumping may have to do with his desire to create an AI chip startup with the financial backing of Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds, Bloomberg reported. The report also said the OpenAI co-founder was looking for a multibillion-dollar investment from SoftBank Group’s Masayoshi Son to make AI-oriented hardware, in partnership with former Apple designer Jony Ive.

Indian American venture capitalist Vinod Khosla said on X that his firm Khosla Ventures backed Altman to take back the reigns at OpenAI but would back him on whatever he would do next.

Calling Altman a “once in a generation CEO,” Khosla said the former is an “instigator whose positive mark on the world will be indelible, and profound, in every corner of the globe.”

Board Under Pressure: Open’s AI board, which received an ultimatum from employees to step down before a 5 p.m. PT deadline, agreed in principle to resign but has since backtracked, The Verge reported.

The board is in talks with Altman about his return to OpenAI, but he was ambivalent about a potential return, the report said. In the event of the high-profile executive’s return, he could demand radical governance changes, it added.

OpenAI, the brain behind the large language model GPT, shocked the tech world by ousting Altman on Friday. Altman is one of the co-founders of the privately-held company, which forged a strategic partnership with Microsoft.

Following Altman’s abrupt firing, Brockman, who served as the president of the company, announced his decision to step down. The OpenAI board, meanwhile, named CTO Mira Murati as CEO on an interim basis.

In a post on X, Altman said Friday’s development was a “weird experience in many ways [,] but one unexpected one is that it has been sorta like reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive.”

After a number of OpenAI employees stood behind Altman and offered to resign en masse if he was not reinstated, the tech entrepreneur expressed his gratitude in another X post. A Bloomberg report said several OpenAI employees had already resigned in protest.

Read Next: The Reason Behind Sam Altman’s Ouster From OpenAI Could Be Something Elon Musk Has Been Complaining About

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