A letter threatening mass resignation signed by 747 of OpenAI's 770 employees, has put the company in check. Workers warn that they will join Microsoft if the three directors who fired Sam Altman, do not reverse their decision and resign, according to the Financial Times.
The process by which you fired Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board of directors has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and our company. Your conduct has made it clear that you do not have the competence to monitor OpenAI.
In the letter also obtained by The Wall Street Journal, the directors are Adam D'Angelo, technology entrepreneur, Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner, director of strategies at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology at Georgetown University. The signatories also ensure that they will not work with "people who lack competence, judgment, and care for our mission and our employees." According to Wired
We, the undersigned, could choose to resign from OpenAI and join the recently announced Microsoft subsidiary led by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman. Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees in this new subsidiary should we decide to join. We will take this step imminently unless all current board members resign and the board appoints two new lead independent directors, including Bret Taylor and Will Hurd, and reinstates Sam Altman and Greg Brockman.
After the existence of the letter was known and made public, Ilya Sutskever - chief scientist at OpenAI - and who blames himself for being part of Altman's dismissal, published on his X account, formerly Twitter, an apology acknowledging that his actions contributed to the company crisis:
I deeply regret my participation in the board's actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we've built together and will do everything I can to keep the company together.
I deeply regret my participation in the board's actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we've built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company.
— Ilya Sutskever (@ilyasut) November 20, 2023