It was a roller coaster of a weekend after the late Friday surprise firing of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, who brought AI chatbot ChatGPT to the masses. Now, rumors are swirling over his next move.
For Microsoft, which is the biggest investor in OpenAI with a stake valued around a reported $13 billion, the situation has escalated to a “Game of Thrones” level, according to Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities.
OPENAI’S SAM ALTMAN IS OUT
OPENAI INVESTORS SCRAMBLING TO BRING ALTMAN BACK
“The biggest worry is the Altman sweepstakes end up in the Google or Amazon backyard which would be a nightmare for MSFT [Microsoft],” he wrote in a note to clients on Sunday.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said via X (formerly Twitter) that the company remains committed to OpenAI without specifically addressing the shake-up or Altman, but he did give a nod to Mira Murati, who replaced Altman on an interim basis.
“We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI with full access to everything we need to deliver on our innovation agenda and an exciting product [road map]; and remain committed to our partnership, and to Mira and the team,” according to a portion of the post.
Microsoft, as of Sunday evening, did not respond to FOX Business’ request for comment nor did Google. Amazon declined to comment.
Microsoft shares have gained more than 54% this year in part due to the company’s deeper push into AI across multi-industries and its own cloud business.
“Nadella and Microsoft do not want to lose Altman, [who] is the golden child of AI globally, and the growing consensus from Silicon Valley and Wall Street is that the days for this four-person board are numbered and Altman will be back at OpenAI and ultimately Microsoft in an even stronger position to control OpenAI’s strategic direction,” Ives said.
Inquiries by FOX Business to OpenAI had not responded at the time of publication.
The small board consists of chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, Quora CEO and independent director Adam D’Angelo, independent director entrepreneur Tasha McCauley and Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology’s Helen Toner.
Greg Brockman, co-founder of OpenAI and an ally of Altman, quit in protest after the dismissal.
Altman could return to OpenAI with internal efforts by its investors, including Microsoft, according to the Wall Street Journal. Brockman could be part of that deal, per reports.
CHATGPT CREATOR OPENAI LOOKING TO MAKE ITS OWN AI CHIPS: REPORT
After Altman was ousted, he began hatching plans to launch a new AI company shortly thereafter, according to reports by The Information and New York Times (NYT), citing sources familiar with the matter.
The NYT added that Altman may have pitched several ideas for new AI projects to investors in recent months, including making customized AI chips that could compete with Nvidia and an AI hardware device.
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Nvidia is to report quarterly results on Tuesday after its shares have clocked gains of more than 230% this year as it cements the lead in AI.
FOX Business’ Eric Revell, Timothy Nerrozi, Andrea Vacchiano and Greg Wehner contributed to this report.
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