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rewrite this title Another OpenAI twist: Microsoft hires Sam Altman as AI team lead

This didn’t take long.

Shortly after OpenAI fired its CEO Sam Altman, Microsoft hired him, alongside OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, to lead the company’s new, “advanced research team.”

Microsoft is an investor and partner with OpenAI, owning a very large stake in the company; Microsoft also uses OpenAI’s tech in its search engine, Bing.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who shared the news on Monday, wrote on X that the company remains “committed to our partnership with OpenAI.”

“(We) 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. We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them.”

As for Microsoft’s new hires, Nadella wrote: “We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success.” And in a reply to Altman’s acknowledgment of his new role, he wrote that he’s “super excited to have you join as CEO of this new group, Sam, setting a new pace for innovation.”

OpenAI unexpectedly fired Altman last week, with the board first trying to replace him with company CTO Mira Murati, before settling on Emmett Shear, former Twitch exec, as interim CEO. Greg Brockman, co-founder and president of OpenAI, also stepped down as chairman of OpenAI’s board.

All of these changes, many of them apparently sudden and unexpected even by insiders, will certainly deeply affect both OpenAI and Microsoft, as well as the relationship between the two companies. Given how much news we’ve heard from OpenAI, Microsoft, and Altman over the past three days, we expect to hear quite a bit more in the following weeks and months.

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