Microsoft CEO Nadella says OpenAI governance needs to change
In an interview with CNBC’s John Forte today, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said OpenAI’s management structure needs to change following the AI company’s surprise firing of CEO Sam Altman. “At this point, I think it is very clear that something has to change in terms of governance,” Nadella said. He added that Microsoft will have a “good dialogue with its board of directors about this.”
Unlike traditional private company boards, OpenAI’s board is made up mostly of outside members and is not charged with maximizing shareholder value. “(N)one of them owns shares in OpenAI,” notes The Verge. “Instead, their stated mission is to ensure the creation of widely useful artificial general intelligence, or AGI.” From the report: In his first press interview since Altman’s ouster, Nadella dismissed concerns about long-term damage at OpenAI and said important AI research is continuing, as is the partnership with Microsoft. But his comments didn’t clear up the confusion surrounding where Altman and fellow OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, who was president of the company, would end up. Early Monday morning, Nadella said Altman, Brockman and their colleagues will join Microsoft as part of a new artificial intelligence research group. The post came on the heels of news that Emmett Shear, former Twitch CEO, was named interim head of OpenAI while Altman looked to leave. Over the course of Monday, it became less clear that Altman and Brockman would actually join Microsoft.
Hundreds of OpenAI employees signed a letter to the company’s board of directors demanding they resign or else employees may choose to leave and join their former boss at Microsoft. Nadella said it is up to OpenAI employees whether they stay in their current positions or move to Microsoft, adding that his company has what it needs to continue innovating on its own. “I am open to both options,” he added. Nadella told Fortt that Microsoft respects OpenAI’s nonprofit roots and shares its belief that AI needs to be developed and deployed in a safe way. “We want to make sure that we address not only the benefits of technology, but also the unintended consequences of technology from day one, rather than waiting for things to happen,” Nadella said. Stay tuned: Legendary tech journalist Kara Swisher released a 30-minute interview with Nadella in which he says, among other things, that he felt he should have been informed earlier as an OpenAI partner and that will change in the future. “There is also a lot of chatter about the new hire (Sam Altman), safety at AGI and even India losing to Australia in that cricket match,” says Swisher in. job On X.
In-depth reading: Some investors in OpenAI are considering suing the board. Sources said that investors are working with legal advisors to study their options. “Investors are concerned that they could lose hundreds of millions of dollars they have invested in OpenAI, the crown jewel in some of their portfolios, with the most high-profile startup in the fast-growing generative AI sector potentially collapsing.”