Sam Altman is joining Microsoft to lead a new AI research team

Sam Altman, who was ousted as CEO of OpenAI in a chaotic boardroom coup Friday, is joining Microsoft, the tech giant said Monday. Meanwhile, Emmett Shear, the former CEO of streaming service Twitch, will join OpenAI.

“We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “And we’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team.”

Microsoft is OpenAI’s biggest investor. Altman will be the CEO of the “new group,” Nadella said.

Multiple news outlets, including The Information, Bloomberg and the Financial Times, cited anonymous sources Monday to report that OpenAI’s board had tapped Shear to become the interim CEO of OpenAI. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNN.

The details of Altman’s firing remain murky. In its announcement, OpenAI claimed Altman had been insufficiently “candid” with the board and that it had hindered the board’s ability to carry out its responsibilities.

That ambiguous language sent the rumor mill flying. But Greg Brockman, Open AI’s co-founder and former president who quit after Altman’s firing, gave the most vivid first-hand details in a post on X.

Brockman said Altman found out he was being fired just minutes before the company made the news public. Brockman suggested Altman was fired because of a disagreement with the company’s research division, led by co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever.

A key factor in Altman’s ouster was tension between Altman, who favored pushing AI development more aggressively, and members of the OpenAI board, who wanted to move more cautiously, according to CNN contributor Kara Swisher, who spoke to sources knowledgeable about the crisis.

Altman had been pushing the company to bring products to market more quickly and to sell them for a profit. In public, however, Altman has long cautioned about risks posed by AI.

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