Emmett Shear's old tweet about interning at Microsoft has come back to haunt him

Emmett Shear's old tweet about interning at Microsoft has come back to haunt him
Emmett Shear tweeted in July about his time interning at Microsoft.Eoin Noonan /Web Summit via Getty Images and Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
  • Emmett Shear tweeted in July that he once interned at Microsoft, and likened it to selling his soul.
  • That could be awkward, given how Microsoft owns 49% of the company he now helms.

Emmett Shear was apparently a Microsoft intern once, and he didn't seem to enjoy the experience.

"When I was interning for Microsoft every paycheck felt like I was getting the payment for a little chunk of my soul in the mail," he tweeted in July.

Shear was technically unemployed while writing this, having in March stepped away from his role as the CEO of Twitch to spend time with his newborn son.

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But he's now the interim CEO of OpenAI, spearheading a Sam-Altman-less team of 770 employees loudly protesting the sudden loss of their former boss.

And weathering the storm with him is, you guessed it, Microsoft.


Shear will now be almost definitely be working with the corporation he lamented about in July, given that the tech giant owns 49% of OpenAI.

Satya Nadella, Microsoft's CEO, has been a central figure in the process of building a soft landing for OpenAI, which fired Altman — the poster-child for artificial intelligence — out of the blue on Friday.

In the wake of Altman's firing, a swathe of OpenAI employees, including top leadership, have threatened to resign, and some customers are saying they're about to jump ship.

As he announced he was taking the CEO role on Sunday, Shear tweeted a tamer nod to Microsoft.

"Our partnership with Microsoft remains strong, and my priority in the coming weeks will be to make sure we continue to serve all our customers well," he wrote.


Shear is a prolific tweeter. His posts cover a wide range of topics, including asking what people see when they close their eyes and a discussion on the sexual fantasies of women.

Just days before he accepted the OpenAI CEO role, he opined that the CEO job is likely one that can be replaced by computers.

It's hard to say if a man's gripes about his old internships will have any import on his tenure as a CEO. But in a world where even OpenAI's key investor has no real clue why its CEO and cofounder was fired, anything can happen.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.