More than 700 of OpenAI’s roughly 770 employees have called on the company’s Board of Directors to resign following the removal of former chief executive Sam Altman, suggesting the Board is “incapable of overseeing” the firm, according to multiple news outlets, amid threats by the employees to leave the company and join Altman at Microsoft.
A letter signed by the employees—reported by various news outlets—suggested the process by which the Board of Directors “terminated” Altman and removed Chairman Greg Brockman “has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and company.”
The letter indicates the “most stabilizing path forward” is for the Board to resign and “place a qualified Board that could lead the company forward in stability,” after the Board replaced Mira Murati as interim CEO “against the best interests of the company.”
The employees “may choose to resign” from OpenAI and join Microsoft’s new AI research unit—which will be run by Altman and Brockman—after Microsoft “assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees.”
All employees will “take this step imminently” unless the Board resigns and reinstates Altman and Brockman, according to the letter.
In a post on X, OpenAI’s chief scientist and Board member Ilya Sutskever—who is among the signees—wrote he “deeply [regrets] my participation in the board’s actions,” adding he “never intended to harm” the company.
Altman shared posts on X from several OpenAI executives—including Murati, chief strategy officer Jason Kwon and COO Brad Lightcap—who appeared to post in solidarity with the company’s staff: “OpenAI is nothing without its people.”
The letter follows Altman’s unexpected firing from OpenAI last week, after the Board said the move was because an internal review found Altman was “not consistently candid in his communications with the Board.” Brockman announced he would be leaving the company in response to the Board’s decision. Some investors called for Altman to be reinstated over the weekend, though the Board named former Twitch CEO Emmett Schear as Altman’s replacement. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella announced earlier on Monday that Altman and Brockman will lead “a new advanced AI research team” at the company, indicating Altman will serve as CEO of the new unit. Microsoft remains “committed” to its partnership with OpenAI, Nadella said.