The threatened mass action puts the company’s future into doubt.
Reports have emerged that more than 700 out of 770 OpenAI staff members are threatening to resign.
According to a New York Times, 700 employees of the tech company behind ChatGPT signed a letter on Monday, threatening to leave the company and seek employment at Microsoft.
This comes after Friday’s ousting of former OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman.
A statement on November 17 announcing the artificial intelligence company’s “leadership transition”, revealed that after a “deliberative” review by OpenAI’s board of directors, Altman had failed a vote of confidence after he was found “inconsistently candid in his communications with the board, (therefore) hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities”.
“We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward,” the statement said.
OpenAI’s board of directors also announced Chief technology officer, Mira Murati, as Altman’s interim successor, pending a permanent successor taking her place.
The day after his firing saw Altman take to X, the platform formerly known as Twitter, to describe his forced exit from the company as a “weird experience.” He also expressed “love” for the support from his friends at this time.
The board’s decision sparked the overwhelming majority of the company’s employees, including senior staff, to call for the board to resign and instead reinstate Altman.
OpenAI’s engagement manager, Evan Morikawa, tweeted on November 21 that to date, 743 signatories are calling for “unity & board ouster (sic)” following Altman’s shocking dismissal.
OpenAI in ‘jeopardy’
In the letter addressed to OpenAI’s board of directors, the signees dub Altman’s unexpected dismissal as having “jeopardised” and “undermined” the mission and company as a whole.
“Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAl. We are unable to work for or with people who lack competence, judgement and care for our mission and employees,” the letter said.
“We, the undersigned, may choose to resign from OpenAI and join the newly announced Microsoft Subsidiary run by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman,” it added.
Altman’s firing also saw the sudden resignation of OpenAI’s co-founder and former president Greg Brockman on Friday.
According to reports, following Altman and Brockman’s departure, Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, announced that the tech giant would be enlisting the pair to spearhead an “advanced AI research team”
In Qatar, local entities have employed OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology within finance regulation and government communications sectors. However, amid the tech company’s latest upheaval, analysts cast doubt over its future prospects.