A large number of OpenAI employees threatened to quit and join former CEO Sam Altman at Microsoft, adding to tumult begun when the board ousted the executive last week.
The New York Times reported 700 of the company’s roughly 770 employees signed a letter stating they would quit if Altman was not reinstated as CEO, while also demanding the resignation of the current board.
Staff reportedly also requested former OpenAI president Greg Brockman be reinstated, and Will Hurd and Bret Taylor be appointed independent directors.
The employees reportedly slated the board’s governance of the company.
OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, a member of the four-person board which sacked Altman, is said to have signed the letter, explaining on social media the action was not meant to harm the company and expressing hope of reunification.
CTO and brief interim CEO Mira Murati was reportedly also a signatory.
Microsoft chair and CEO Satya Nadella stated on social media the company remains committed to OpenAI and has confidence in its product roadmap.
Brockman revealed a trio of OpenAI researchers would also join Microsoft.