Over 505 OpenAI employees have issued a threat to resign if the company’s board does not step down following the controversial firing of CEO Sam Altman. The tumultuous weekend saw Altman being fired and subsequently hired by Microsoft, sparking discontent among OpenAI employees. The employees accused the board of mishandling Altman’s firing, lacking transparency, and negotiating in bad faith with executive leadership. The board also removed Greg Brockman, leading employees to demand the resignation of the entire board.
In a letter to the board, employees expressed their inability to work with individuals lacking competence, judgment, and care for the mission and employees of OpenAI. The employees warned that they would leave the company unless the board resigns and Altman and Brockman are reinstated. Notably, Mira Murati, named as Altman’s interim successor, is among the signatories.
The turmoil highlights Altman’s loyal following and Microsoft’s opportunity to benefit from the situation. Despite the board’s actions, Microsoft has reportedly assured OpenAI employees of positions within the company, adding another layer of complexity to the unfolding events. The employee revolt adds to the challenges facing OpenAI in maintaining its mission of ensuring artificial general intelligence benefits humanity.