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Microsoft secures observer position on OpenAI’s board

Microsoft, the tech giant, has infused billions of dollars into OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, and has secured a position on the startup’s board.

The announcement of this nomination was communicated through a memo to OpenAI’s staff on Wednesday, subsequently shared on the company’s blog.

It contained a set of priorities outlined by the Chief Executive Officer, Sam Altman, highlighting the company’s future direction.

This addition to the board comes in the wake of significant upheaval at OpenAI on November 17 when Altman was initially dismissed from the company’s board, only to be reinstated a few days later in response to protests from staff and investors.

Expressing gratitude to the employees, Altman mentioned in the memo“Thank you for everything you have done since the very beginning, and for how you handled things from the moment this started and over the last week.”

During this tumultuous period, Microsoft proposed hiring Altman and OpenAI’s workforce of 750 individuals to work at their Redmond, Washington headquarters to continue their AI endeavors.

However, instead of this route, the board that ousted Altman has been restructured, with Microsoft now taking a non-voting position.

Microsoft will be joining Larry Summers, the former United States Treasury Secretary and influential political figure, who was appointed last week, along with Bret Taylor, a veteran from Silicon Valley. Notably, Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist and a member of the board that voted to remove Altman, has not been reinstated.

Altman praised Sutskever as an AI “guiding light” and indicated that discussions were ongoing to find a suitable role for him within the company.