Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella believes that OpenAI should have consulted with the company before removing former CEO Sam Altman. He told Kara Swisher’s podcast that it is the “least” the board could do, given their partnership and investment in OpenAI. The CEO of Microsoft was not aware of Altman’s firing until it was announced publicly, and he expressed disappointment that his removal was not discussed beforehand.
Nadella emphasized that as a partner in the company, Microsoft deserved to be consulted on big decisions. He added that someone must think about why Sam chose Microsoft twice, as there is no OpenAI without some kind of Microsoft that relies deeply on partnering with this company in their mission.
Last Friday, OpenAI suddenly announced Altman’s removal as CEO. The board stated that Altman “has not been consistently honest in his communications” with them but did not provide further details. Altman’s ouster led to chaos and resulted in the appointment of former Twitch boss Emmett Shear as OpenAI’s new deputy CEO over the weekend. On Monday, Nadella announced that he had hired Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman to lead Microsoft’s new advanced AI research team. However, nearly all of OpenAI’s staff are threatening to resign unless the board resigns and Altman returns as CEO.
Nadella seems prepared for this possibility and told Swisher that they will support whoever stays even at OpenAI or whatever moves forward while leaving room for all AI talent to come here and move the mission forward. Representatives for Microsoft and OpenAI were not immediately available when Business Insider reached out for comment outside regular business hours.