OpenAI Ponders How to Crush Staff Revolt

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Open Mutiny

Until Friday, ChatGPT creator OpenAI was the indisputable leader in the nascent space.  Then, the entire thing descended into chaos.

All hell broke loose when OpenAI's governing nonprofit board fired CEO Sam Altman, leading the vast majority of employees to actively revolt, voicing their discontent on X-formerly-Twitter in the form of heart emojis in support of their fallen chief executive this week.

More than 700 of the startup's 770 employees have now signed a letter threatening to throw in the towel and follow Altman out the door, who was offered an olive branch and a chance to start over by OpenAI's major stakeholder Microsoft.

Now, OpenAI's remaining leadership are desperately trying to pick up the pieces and stop OpenAI from losing what essentially amounts to all of its talent, Bloomberg reports.

OpenAI VP of global affairs Anna Makanju tried to calm angry staff in an internal memo, telling them they were in "intense discussions" to stop the crisis from deepening — but given the sheer amount of chaos, it's hard to imagine OpenAI getting out of this unscathed.

Deep Breaths

To be clear, absolutely none of this has been resolved and the fate of OpenAI is still a big unknown. Even Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella left the possibility of Altman returning to OpenAI on the table during a Monday evening appearance on CNBC.

In her memo, Makanju admitted that we'll likely have to wait until we hear from OpenAI's board about its final decision, something that could very much determine the future of the company.

Essentially, she urged a slowdown of a situation that quickly spiraled out of control over the last couple of days, complete with heated rhetoric about saving humanity from an existential threat.

"We are continuing to go over mutually acceptable options and are scheduled to speak again tomorrow morning when everyone’s had a little more sleep," Makanju wrote.

"These intense discussions can drag out, and I know it can feel impossible to be patient," she added.

More on the situation: Sam Altman Seems to Imply That OpenAI Is Building God