Most of OpenAI’s staff threatens to quit unless the board resigns and reinstates Sam Altman as CEO

The OpenAI chaos took another twist on Monday morning as most of the company’s staff threatened to quit unless the board resigns and reinstates former CEO Sam Altman and ex-president Greg Brockman. According to Wired and Kara Swisher, around 500 employees — including several executives — signed the letter. 

Swisher noted that OpenAI has 700 employees. Several of them, including Chief Technical Officer Mira Murati (who held the company’s top job on an interim basis for less than a weekend), wrote on X early Monday that “OpenAI is nothing without its people.”

The letter to the board is the latest development in a series of events that started on Friday afternoon, when OpenAI’s board fired Altman. The board claimed Altman had not been “consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” As such, the board felt it no longer had “confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.” Brockman told OpenAI staff in an email on Friday that he was resigning as chairman “based on today’s news.” 

Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap later said in a leaked internal memo that Altman was sacked due to “a breakdown in communication,” not “malfeasance or anything related to our financial, business, safety, or security/privacy practices,”

Altman and Brockman held crunch talks with OpenAI’s board over the weekend in an attempt to be reinstated in their former roles. But those discussions did not work out in the former CEO’s and chairman’s favor. The board instead opted to hire former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as OpenAI’s interim chief executive. 

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This article originally appeared on Engadget at