Company that created ChatGPT is thrown into turmoil after Microsoft hires its ousted CEO

Sam Altman, right, then CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, and Mira Murati, chief technology officer, appear at OpenAI DevDay on Nov. 6 in San Francisco. (AP Photo/Barbara Ortutay)

The company that created ChatGPT was thrown into turmoil Monday after Microsoft hired its ousted CEO and many employees threatened to follow him in a conflict that centered in part on how to build artificial intelligence that’s smarter than humans.

The developments followed a weekend of drama that shocked the AI field and fueled speculation about the future of OpenAI, which named a new chief executive on Friday and then replaced her on Sunday. The newest CEO vowed to investigate the firing of co-founder and CEO Sam Altman, who’s been instrumental in OpenAI’s transformation from a nonprofit research laboratory into a world-renowned commercial startup that inaugurated the era of generative artificial intelligence.


Microsoft, which has been a close partner of the company and invested billions of dollars in it, announced that Altman and OpenAI’s former president, Greg Brockman, would lead its new advanced AI research team. Brockman, also an OpenAI co-founder, quit in protest after Altman was fired.

Hundreds of OpenAI employees, including other top executives, threatened to join them at Microsoft in an open letter addressed to OpenAI’s four-member board that called for the board’s resignation and Altman’s return.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, that he was “extremely excited” to bring on the pair and looked “forward to getting to know” the new management team at OpenAI.

Altman later said on X that his top priority with Nadella is to ensure that OpenAI “continues to thrive” and that it is committed to “fully providing continuity of operations to our partners and customers.”