Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella says OpenAI governance needs to change

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella: Microsoft can innovate alone but 'we chose to work with OpenAI'

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC’s Jon Fortt on Monday that OpenAI’s management structure needs to change, three days after the sudden firing of CEO Sam Altman.

“At this point, I think it’s pretty clear that something has to change around the management,” Nadella said. He said that Microsoft would have “good communication with their board on that. “

In his first press interview since Altman’s ouster, Nadella dismissed concerns about long-term damage at OpenAI and said the critical research on artificial intelligence continues as does the partnership with Microsoft. But his comments didn’t clear up confusion about where Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, the company’s former chairman, will end up.

Early Monday morning, Nadella said Altman, Brockman and their colleagues would join Microsoft as part of a new AI research group. That appointment followed news that former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear had been named interim head of OpenAI while Altman looked to leave. Over Monday, it was less obvious that Altman and Brockman would join Microsoft.

Hundreds of OpenAI employees signed a letter to the company’s board asking them to resign or the employees may choose to leave and join their former boss at Microsoft.

Nadella said that it is the choice of OpenAI employees whether to stay in their current roles or move to Microsoft, adding that his company has what it takes to continue to innovate on its own.

“I’m open to both options,” he said.

Altman’s swift reinstatement began to look like a possibility on Saturday when news broke that a group of prominent investors including Microsoft, Tiger Global, Thrive Capital and Sequoia Capital were working to overturn the board’s decision. back a day before. None of these companies had board seats, and were unaware of the decision.

In a post on X late Saturday night, Altman wrote, “I love the openai team so much.” Brockman, who left the company after the board removed Altman as chairman, reposted the comment with a heart symbol. Other OpenAI employees did the same.

Nadella told Fortt that Microsoft respects the non-profit roots of OpenAI and believes that AI must be developed and distributed in a safe way.

“We want to make sure we’re addressing not just the benefits of technology, but the unintended consequences of the technology from day one, instead of waiting for things to happen,” Nadella said.

Watch: A timeline of the drama between Sam Altman, OpenAI and Microsoft

Watch a timeline of the drama between Sam Altman, OpenAI and Microsoft

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