OpenAI’s future is uncertain after hundreds of employees threaten to quit


The future of OpenAI was thrown into chaos Monday after hundreds of employees at the artificial intelligence company threatened to quit and join ousted CEO Sam Altman at Microsoft.

Late Sunday, OpenAI’s board said it would back its ouster of Altman and named Emmett Shear as interim CEO. Meanwhile, Microsoft, a major investor in OpenAI, hired Altman to lead its AI research.

Employees signed a letter threatening to quit unless the current board resigns and reappoints Altman as CEO, according to media reports. Those who signed the letter included board member Ilya Sutskever — an OpenAI co-founder and board director who fired Altman on Friday — who appeared to indicate his support for Altman’s return as CEO on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI,” Sutskever wrote in the X post. “I love everything we’ve built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company.”

Altman and Greg Brockman, the former OpenAI president who had also quit Friday with Altman in solidarity, embraced the message, retweeting Sutskever’s post with heart emojis. Bewildered observers tried to keep up with twist and turns of Silicon Valley’s fastest swinging boardroom showdown.

Much of what employees are feeling played out publicly on X, as dozens of employees at OpenAI signaled their support for Altman: “OpenAI is nothing without its people.”

The latest development comes after a chaotic, rapidly changing weekend for OpenAI. On Friday, its board abruptly removed Altman from his role as chief executive, saying he was “not consistently candid” in his communications. That set off a dizzying two-day period during which Altman returned to company headquarters to negotiate his potential return to the artificial intelligence lab, only to see those negotiations collapse Sunday night into early Monday morning, when Microsoft announced Altman was joining the company, along with Brockman.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.


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