While talks to bring Sam Altman back as OpenAI’s CEO are still ongoing as of this writing, it’s possible those talks could fail, and Altman could be joining Microsoft to head up a new advanced AI team. He could also be bringing hundreds of OpenAI employees with him.
A new report from Axios states that Microsoft is not waiting around for those talks to complete. It is working on the assumption that it could be adding former OpenAI team members to its workforce. The report says Microsoft is already getting office space ready and setting up computers to welcome (maybe) those OpenAI workers.
The report says the office space will be located in LinkedIn’s office in San Francisco, which is located just 10 minutes away from the headquarters of OpenAI. The story states:
The company is readying work spaces, training clusters and Macs to ensure OpenAI’s workers can hit the ground running, the source said. It also has legal and HR personnel at the ready to handle hiring and onboarding.
The vast majority of OpenAI’s employees have signed a letter to the company’s board members, who fired Altman with no prior warning on Friday. The letter asked the board to resign and reinstate Altman as CEO of OpenAI, or else they could join Altman at Microsoft.
Speaking of which, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella didn’t want to directly answer questions from the business press on Monday on how he would feel if Altman decided to go back to OpenAI, after offering him a job at Microsoft. On the prospect of adding new employees, Nadella stated “that depends on the people of OpenAI and staying there or coming to Microsoft so I’m open to both options.”
In any case, it’s going to be a very interesting next few hours, and we will cover what finally happens in this crazy story as it happens.