Microsoft announced Monday that it is forming a new advanced artificial intelligence research team, to be led by former OpenAI executives Sam Altman and Greg Brockman.
The company said in a statement that Altman, Brockman and colleagues will be joining Microsoft to spearhead the new team.
“We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.
He expressed excitement about bringing on the new hires from OpenAI, an AI research lab that was co-founded by Altman.
“We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success,” Nadella said.
The move signals Microsoft’s ongoing push into advanced artificial intelligence capabilities, even as it maintains ties with OpenAI. The two organizations announced a multi-year partnership in 2019.
OpenAI appointed former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as its new CEO succeeding Altman. Nadella said Microsoft looks forward to working with Shear and OpenAI’s new leadership team.
Shear will take over from Mira Murati, who was named interim OpenAI CEO following Altman’s shock firing on Friday. OpenAI hasn’t confirmed Shear’s appointment, but given Microsoft’s hiring of Altman it can’t be far away from announcing a new leadership structure.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter) Altman acknowledged he was joining Microsoft by quoting Nadella, saying “the mission continues.” Nadella responded by providing some hints at how he sees Altman’s role at Microsoft. “We’ve learned a lot over the years about how to give founders and innovators space to build independent identities and cultures within Microsoft, including GitHub, Mojang Studios, and LinkedIn, and I’m looking forward to having you do the same.”
Altman had been negotiating to return as OpenAI CEO, but OpenAI’s four-person board refused to step down and let him return, according to multiple sources.