OpenAI staff are reportedly not happy about their board of directors firing founder Sam Altman. According to a social media post from tech podcaster Kara Swisher, employees sent a letter to the board demanding that they resign. A total of 505 out of 700 employees signed the letter, the post stated.
— Kara Swisher (@karaswisher) November 20, 2023
OpenAI is the developer of the artificial intelligence (AI) program ChatGPT. The program has over 100 million active users, according to statistics site Tooltester.
Swisher posted a copy of the letter, which accused the board of undermining the mission of OpenAI. “We, the employees of OpenAI, have developed the best models and pushed the field to new frontiers,” it stated. But “the process through which you terminated Sam Altman and removed Greg Brokman from the board has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and company.”
The letter suggested that “the most stabilizing path forward” would be “for [the board] to resign and put in place a qualified board that could lead the company forward in stability.”
According to the letter, employees have attempted to investigate why Altman was fired, but they have been unable to get a clear answer from the board, which “has never provided any written evidence” to confirm its allegations.
Sam Altman was fired by the OpenAI board on Nov. 17 for allegedly being “not consistently candid in his communications with the board.” Greg Brockman was also removed as chair on the same day. Some investors quickly protested his removal and asked that he be reinstated. On Nov. 20, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that both Altman and Brockman have been hired at his firm to head up a new AI team.