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Microsoft CEO reaffirms ‘long-term agreement’ with OpenAI, but doesn’t mention Sam Altman’s recent firing in statement

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A composite image of Sam Altman and Satya Nadella
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman (left) and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella took to X to affirm the company’s relationship with OpenAI. 
  • The announcement came hours after OpenAI ousted its CEO Sam Altman.
  • Some reports say that Microsoft was surprised to learn about the firing.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced Friday that the company will continue working with partner OpenAI, but failed to mention the ousting of the company’s CEO Sam Altman earlier in the day.

Nadella mentioned Mira Murati, the current CTO of OpenAI who will serve as interim CEO, by name. Murati had also affirmed OpenAI’s relationship with Microsoft during a company-wide meeting on Friday, The Information reported.

“We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI with full access to everything we need to deliver on our innovation agenda and an exciting product roadmap; and remain committed to our partnership, and to Mira and the team,” Nadella wrote on X Friday. “Together, we will continue to deliver the meaningful benefits of this technology to the world.”

Altman was ousted from OpenAI at the discretion of the company’s board, which said it did not have “confidence” in Altman’s ability to lead the company. In response to the news, OpenAI president Greg Brockman quit Friday evening.

However, it’s unclear whether Microsoft was aware of the abrupt leadership change.

A source familiar with the situation told Axios that Microsoft was unaware that Altman would be out at OpenAI.

Multiple workers at OpenAI and Microsoft also told Business Insider that Altman’s ousting left them “completely shocked” at their respective workplaces.

Since OpenAI’s inception, Microsoft has poured billions into the company and began using OpenAI’s breakthrough chatbot to power its Bing search engine. OpenAI also operates on Microsoft Azure cloud servers.

Altman and Nadella appeared to have a cordial relationship, with Nadella offering nothing but praise for the former OpenAI CEO on November 6, when OpenAI hosted its DevDay.

“We love you guys,” Nadella told Altman. “It’s been fantastic for us.”

Although, the relationship hasn’t always been cozy. Internally, Microsoft and OpenAI have disagreed on how Bing’s AI functionality should be implemented. The Information previously reported that Microsoft was looking to wean itself from its reliance on OpenAI.

Previously, Altman addressed his relationship with Nadella, saying the pair text “a lot.”

Microsoft and OpenAI did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider


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