Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has recently announced the recruitment of former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman to spearhead its newly established advanced AI research team.
This move follows Altman’s dismissal from OpenAI, where the board expressed a lack of confidence in his leadership. Despite attempts to negotiate his return to OpenAI, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella disclosed that Altman and Brockman would be taking significant roles at Microsoft.
Nadella expressed enthusiasm about their joining, indicating a readiness to support their new team with the necessary resources. Altman, assuming the CEO role of this group, reacted to this development on X (previously known as Twitter), signaling a continuation of his mission.
Nadella, in response, hinted at the autonomy Altman would have at Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), drawing parallels with the independence granted to heads of other Microsoft acquisitions like GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn.
The CEO title at Microsoft is usually reserved for leaders of significant or independent business units. This precedent, seen in the appointments of Phil Spencer as Microsoft Gaming CEO and leaders of GitHub, LinkedIn, Mojang, and Activision Blizzard, suggests ambitious plans for the advanced AI research team.
Brockman revealed that this new team at Microsoft will include notable OpenAI personnel, such as Jakub Pachocki, Szymon Sidor, and Aleksander Madry in leadership roles. This announcement was accompanied by signs of further departures from OpenAI, with employees expressing solidarity on X.
Altman’s transition to Microsoft occurred swiftly after his reappointment negotiations with OpenAI fell through. Emmett Shear, co-founder of Twitch, has been named interim CEO of OpenAI, succeeding Mira Murati, who briefly held the position following Altman’s unexpected exit.
Reports from The Verge indicate that Altman had been in discussions to resume his role at OpenAI, but the board’s refusal to step down hindered his return. The New York Times also reported that Altman had been exploring a new venture to develop AI tensor processing units (TPUs) capable of competing with Nvidia, garnering interest from venture firms and Microsoft.
This leadership change at Microsoft’s advanced AI research team comes on the heels of Microsoft’s announcement about developing its own custom AI chips, aiming to train large language models and potentially reduce reliance on Nvidia. These innovations are part of Microsoft’s broader strategy to strengthen its Azure data centers with custom silicon chips, including an Arm-based CPU for cloud workloads.
Featured Image – Wikimedia