Satya Nadella says he wants governance changes on OpenAI's board but didn't say if Microsoft is getting a seat
- Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that he wants changes to the OpenAI board after it fired Sam Altman.
- Nadella did not specify what changes he would want made.
Following a whirlwind weekend of departures and internal protests at OpenAI, the company's most significant investor and partner wants a change to the board that started the chaos.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella went on a media blitz Monday afternoon speaking to CNBC, BloombergTV, and Kara Swisher. During these interviews, he offered nothing but praise for recently ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman but made comments about OpenAI's board governance.
He told CNBC that "something has to change" in regards to the board of directors, but stopped short of saying what changes he would like to see — including whether or not Microsoft should have its own seat at the table.
"I think at this point, I think it's very, very clear that something has to change around the governance, and we'll have a good dialogue with their board on that and we'll walk through that as time evolves," Nadella told CNBC.
Nadella reiterated his point in a later interview with BloombergTV, saying that "surprises are bad" and that they hoped to prevent them in the future.
"We just want to make sure that things are done in a way that will allow us to continue to partner well," Nadella told the outlet. "That's about it. This idea that somehow, sudden changes happen without being in the loop is not good."
In an interview with tech journalist Kara Swisher, on her podcast "On With Kara Swisher," Nadella hinted that a board seat or observer for Microsoft at OpenAI was a possibility.
"We'll sort of cross that if it happens, but I think that we will need to make sure that our interests are solid," Nadella told Swisher in response to a question about a board seat.
Nadella also said that he did not have an opinion on whether the current board should remain.
Nadella told Swisher that he was blindsided by the Friday ousting of Altman by the board of directors. The board said that Altman was "not consistently candid in his communications" and that it lacked "confidence" in Altman's ability to lead the company. The company did not go into further detail.
Nadella told Bloomberg TV that he is still unaware of why exactly the board dumped Altman.
"I've not been told about anything," Nadella told Bloomberg TV Monday. "They published internally at OpenAI that the board has not talked about anything that Sam did other than some breakdown in communications. I not directly was told by anyone from their board about any issues, and so therefore I remain confident in Sam and his leadership and capability."
As of now, Microsoft has expressed interest in hiring Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman, but Nadella told BloombergTV that their hiring wasn't a done deal and that they were "in the process of joining." Nadella, however, also said that he would continue to work with Altman and OpenAI regardless of how things shook out.
Altman's sudden departure created shockwaves throughout the AI sphere and hundreds of OpenAI employees threatened to leave the company if the reins were not handed back to Altman (Nadella also offered these employees jobs at Microsoft).
OpenAI investors have also reportedly gotten involved in trying to get Altman back to the company.
Although a concrete reason for his ouster has yet to be given, the tech world has been flooded with rumors. Two employees told Business Insider's Kali Hays that employees within the company were given reasons by OpenAI board member Ilya Sutskever but said no one at the company believes him.
- 8 Irresistible seasonal snacks to warm your winter days
- Vijay Shekhar Sharma says 'Wed in India' is a good idea for its food options
- NCLAT stays CCI penalty on NTPC in Ratnagiri Gas & Power shares issue
- A Japanese Start-Up Is Testing a Rocket Powered Entirely By Rocket Fuel Created From Cow Dung!
- Amazon sues scammers for stealing millions of dollars via fake returns