Even though Sam Altman has returned to his position as OpenAI’s CEO, the firm is still making headlines every other day. After the sudden ouster of the face of ChatGPT, the company hired two interim CEOs, only to realize that they couldn’t float the boat without Altman, and hired him back again, restructuring the board. At the time, some reports also mentioned that among other investors, Microsoft wanted a seat on the new board, which initially had three people. However, Altman-led OpenAI seems to have a different opinion.
Why Wouldn’t OpenAI Offer Microsoft A Seat?
According to a report by Reuters, OpenAI “is not expected to offer” Microsoft and other investors, including Thrive Capitals and Khosla Ventures, seats on its board. It is important to mention that Microsoft and other major investors were “blindsided” by OpenAI’s board decision to fire Altman, implying that they weren’t involved in the decision-making process that led to Altman’s ouster. Hence, it made sense for them to have a seat on the board, which would include them in the core processes at the company.
This Might Not Be In The Best Interest Of Microsoft
Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella told CNBC that OpenAI needed to change its board, regardless of where Altman ended. However, not having a seat on the leading AI startup’s board, in which it is the largest investor, wouldn’t be in Microsoft’s best interest. Reuters also mentions that the firm is waiting for an official response from OpenAI’s new board about how they want to drive the company and to whom they want to offer the remaining seats.
On the other hand, OpenAI’s reasoning could be about protecting its mission, which is to “ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity,” achievable with certain safety measures. However, investors in any company often look toward profitable aspects, which might push security to the back seat. But this isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, as reports also suggest that Sam Altman was fired because he wasn’t conscious enough about a new project called Q* (Q-Star), which led to speculations about being a threat to humanity.