November 21, 2023 – The recent upheaval within the OpenAI board, resulting in the removal of ChatGPT founder Sam Altman, is far from reaching a resolution. In other words, the situation is still in flux.
As of now, a total of 743 OpenAI employees have signed a joint letter, explicitly stating that the board’s actions since the dismissal of Sam Altman have jeopardized the company and are perceived as a failure to fulfill their responsibilities. With OpenAI currently employing 770 individuals, this signifies that over 96% of the workforce has expressed the sentiment that if Altman does not return, they will resign and follow Altman elsewhere.
Interestingly, the interim CEO appointed by the board, Emmett Shear, attempted to convene an all-hands meeting, only to receive no response from a single OpenAI employee. Their reaction on Slack, a collaborative communication platform, was characterized by emoticons resembling “foreign expletives” in response to the CEO’s notification. Despite the mounting pressure, the OpenAI board remains in resistance, plotting to recruit new members to bolster their votes. Nat Friedman, the highly esteemed former CEO of GitHub, disclosed that he received an invitation but declined, expressing reluctance to be used as a pawn.
While Altman has already taken up a position at Microsoft, multiple sources have informed The Verge that if the remaining board members who ousted him step down, Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman are still willing to return to OpenAI. The saga continues as the future of OpenAI hangs in the balance, with the dynamics of the boardroom playing a crucial role in shaping the company’s destiny.