Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has expressed his disappointment with OpenAI’s decision to fire former CEO Sam Altman without consulting him first. According to Nadella, Microsoft has invested billions in OpenAI and has been using each other’s technology, with ChatGPT powering Microsoft’s Bing search engine and OpenAI using Microsoft’s Azure cloud servers.
Nadella believes that as a partner in the company, it is important for Microsoft to be consulted on big decisions, and he feels that Altman should have reached out to him before making such a significant change. He told Kara Swisher’s podcast: “As a partner, I think it does deserve you to be consulted on big decisions.”
OpenAI announced Altman’s firing last Friday, stating that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board. However, Nadella believes that there must have been more to the story than what was stated in the press release. He added: “It’s not even the money and the capital. I mean, here’s a simple way to think about this. Sam chose Microsoft once. Sam chose Microsoft twice. Someone’s got to think about why?”
Despite his disappointment, Nadella seems prepared for any outcome at OpenAI. On Monday, he announced that he had hired Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman to head Microsoft’s new advanced AI research team. However, nearly all of OpenAI’s staff have threatened to quit unless the board resigns and Altman returns as CEO.
Nadella remains committed to supporting all AI talent and moving forward on the mission of advancing AI research at Microsoft. He told Swisher: “We will definitely have a place for all AI talent to come here and move forward on the mission, and we will be supportive of whoever remains even at OpenAI or whatever.”