Microsoft has hired Sam Altman to power up its innovation in artificial intelligence after the co-founder of OpenAI was ousted as CEO in a chaotic boardroom coup on Friday. Meanwhile, the ChatGPT company will get its third CEO in three days. It’s another major shakeup to the balance of power over artificial intelligence, the most significant new technology in decades. Greg Brockman, another co-founder of OpenAI, is also joining Microsoft — the startup’s biggest financial backer. Brockmann quit as OpenAI president after Altman was fired. Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Amazon’s streaming service Twitch, will join OpenAI as interim CEO. He replaces Mira Murati, who was named interim CEO when Altman was fired. She will return to her role as OpenAI’s chief technology officer. “We look forward to getting to know Emmett Shear,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “And 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.” With its $13 billion investment, Microsoft is OpenAI’s biggest stakeholder. Altman will be the CEO of the “new group,” Nadella said in his post. Shares of Microsoft rose about 2% in premarket trading Monday. Altman’s move to Microsoft brought to an end a weekend of feverish speculation that the OpenAI board could perform a dramatic U-turn and rehire the high-flying Silicon Valley entrepreneur and investor. Altman spent Sunday at OpenAI’s headquarters, posting on X a photo of himself holding a green guest badge connected to a lanyard labeled “OpenAI.” He wrote: “first and last time i ever wear one of these.” Multiple news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal and New York Times, reported that the board that fired Altman was having second thoughts and had engaged with him and Brockman to discuss their return.
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