Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) jumped in pre-market trading Monday following the recruitment of Sam Altman and Greg Brockman to lead a newly created artificial intelligence research team. The move comes days after their surprise departure from OpenAI, a company they co-founded.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the high-profile appointments on Monday via a tweet, stating,
“We’re extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team. We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success.“
Altman retweeted Nadella’s post and stated, “The mission continues.”
The upheaval at OpenAI unfolded over the weekend as Altman faced an unexpected dismissal from the board on Friday. Talks of Altman and Brockman potentially rejoining OpenAI fizzled out late on Sunday.
The decision to part ways with Altman at OpenAI was reportedly fueled by concerns about his commitment to the company’s mission of ensuring safe and beneficial AI.
A source with direct knowledge of the decision reveals that the board found it “impossible to oversee” the co-founder.
The source added,
“There was no one big problem. The board reached the point where they couldn’t believe what Sam told them.”
OpenAI employees rallied behind Altman over the weekend while leading investors, including Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT) and renowned venture firms like Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures, explored options to reinstate him. However, some employees focused on AI safety expressed satisfaction with the decision to replace Altman.
On Sunday, the OpenAI board named Emmett Shear, co-founder of popular video streaming service Twitch, as an interim CEO. Shear, an advocate for a cautious approach to AI development, clarified on X (formerly Twitter) on Monday that Altman was not removed due to safety concerns but rather for reasons entirely different.
The market responded positively to the development. Microsoft stock jumped about 2% to $376.70 in pre-market trading, rebounding from a dip on Friday following Altman’s dismissal.