In the last three days we have witnessed a frenetic avalanche of events that have shaken OpenAI and complicated its future. The firing of Sam Altman and its later signing by Microsoft They are the axes of a situation that has many edges. We wanted to review the OpenAI crisis timelinebut this article will be updated constantly.
To begin with, it is important to highlight the main protagonists of this entire situation and their positions before everything precipitated.
- Sam Altman (co-founder and CEO of OpenAI)
- Ilya Sutskever (co-founder, Chief Scientist and board member of OpenAI)
- Greg Brockman (co-founder, president and board member of OpenAI)
- Mira Murati (CTO of OpenAI)
- Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO)
And this, the chronology of the events updated with the local time zone of the events (Eastern Time, six hours more in mainland Spain):
Thursday, November 16, 2023
11:00 PM. Ilya Sutskever writes a message to Sam Altman asking for a meeting at 3:00 PM on Friday, the next day.
11:10 PM. Sutkskever tells Mira Murati about the plan to fire Sam Altman and make her interim CEO.
Friday, November 17, 2023
3:00 PM. Sam Altman joins a Google Meet video call with the OpenAI board of directors. Only Greg Brockman is absent. The council informs Altman that he is fired.
3:19 PM. Sutskever texts Brockman and asks him to join the video call.
3:23 PM. Greg joins the video call and is informed that he has been kicked off the board, but remains the president of OpenAI.
3:26 PM. The board of directors informs Microsoft of the dismissal of Sam Altman.
3:28 PM. OpenAI publishes the news about what fired Sam Altman and that it has appointed Mira Murati, CTO of the company, as interim CEO “with immediate effect.” They add that Altman “was not always truthful in his communications” with the board, but did not provide further details about the reasons for his dismissal.
3:30 PM. Sources close to the company indicate that Satya Nadella, was “surprised” by the news and became furious.
4:46 PM. Sam Altman publica in X a message indicating that “I loved the weather [que he pasado] at OpenAI.” It is the first public message since it became known that he has been fired.
6:25 PM. Satya Nadella publish on X a message in which it indicates that “we have a long-term agreement with OpenAI” and adds that “we remain committed to our agreement and to Mira and the team.”
7:09 PM. Greg Brockman announces in X who resigns from OpenAI as a result of the dismissal of Sam Altman.
11:42 PM. Brockman post a new message on X regretting “what the council did today” and explains how the events of those video calls in which they were notified of the news unfolded.
Saturday, November 18, 2023
1:41 AM. The Information publishes that three senior OpenAI researchers they have also resigned after the events.
1:00 PM. It is revealed that Sam Altman is negotiating a possible investment to create a new AI company that will also include Greg Brockman.
2:00 PM. Microsoft and other OpenAI investors they start to press to OpenAI’s board of directors to bring Altman back as CEO.
3:06 PM. OpenAI board debates whether to bring back Altman as CEO. Both Altman and Brockman attend that meeting, according to The Information.
3:28 PM. Traffic lights publica that OpenAI has received “only a fraction” of Microsoft’s $10 billion investment, as it is paying for it in the form of compute hours on Azure, not cash.
4:03 PM. Sam Altman publish an image on X in which he shows a “Visitor” accreditation indicating that “this is the first and last time I wear one of these.” An OpenAI Companion publica a photo of him taking that photo.
4:10 PM. Sam Altman shows mixed feelings about returning to OpenAI, but indicates in X that if i did would want significant changes in the company’s governance.
4:53 PM. The layoff could have a huge financial impact for OpenAI. En The Information indicate that the theoretical sale of shares, which would have an estimated value of $86 billion, is at risk.
5:52 PM (aprox). Axios publica an internal memo from Brad Lightcap, COO of OpenAI, in which the manager explains that the differences between Altman and the board were due to communication, not a confrontation over the security or commercialization of the company’s generative AI models.
Sunday, November 19, 2023
5:17 PM. According to Bloomberg, efforts to bring back Altman and Brockman are suspended. Leading those efforts, they note, were COO Brad Lightcap and the newly appointed interim CEO, Mira Murati.
11:58 PM. According to The Information, Sam Altman will not return as CEO of OpenAI. The announcement is made by Ilya Sutskever to the company’s staff.
11:58 PM. In the same news it is revealed that OpenAI has appointed Emmett Shear, co-founder of Twitch and former CEO until nine months ago, as the new interim CEO.
Monday, November 20, 2023
1:29 AM. Sutskever’s announcement causes resignation from “dozens of employees” by confirming that Altman would not return as CEO of OpenAI.
2:53 AM. Satya Nadella publish on X that Microsoft “remains committed to its partnership with OpenAI” and they look forward to “meeting Emmet Shear and the new OpenAI leadership team to work with them.”
2:53 AM. In that same message he announces that Microsoft has hired Sam Altman and Greg Brockman He also hired some of his colleagues to “lead a new AI research team.”
2:58 AM. Sam Altman quote the message of Nadella’s announcement and writes “The mission continues.”
4.01 AM. Emmet Shear confirms the news in a long post on X. It also details your plan for the next 30 days and your intention to make appropriate decisions, including potential changes to the leadership and governance team.
5:06 AM. Mira Murati, Brad Lightcap and several OpenAI employees publish the message “OpenAI is nothing without its people” on Twitter or posting hearts in response to Sam Altman’s farewell message as a show of support. He responds to several.
8:15 AM. Ilya Sutskever publish a message on X in which he confesses that he “deeply feels my involvement in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we have built together and will do everything I can to bring the company back together.” Sam Altman he disputes them minutes later with three hearts.
8:53 AM. Journalist Kara Swisher publica the letter signed by 505 OpenAI employees threatening to leave the company if the entire board of directors does not resign and bring Altman and Brockman back. Among the signatories are Mira Murati and, surprisingly, Ilya Sutskever.
1:19 PM. Altman mentioned in X to Mira Murati and Brad Lightcap indicating that they were doing a great job, supposedly to reunify the company.
1:27 PM. Sam Altman publica a message in X in which he points to his possible return to OpenAI. “We have more unity and commitment and focus than ever. We’re all going to work together one way or another, so I’m excited. One team, one mission.”
2:39 PM. Altman reveals what “[La de] Satya and my top priority remains for OpenAI to continue growing. We are committed to providing continuity of operations to our partners and customers. The agreement between OpenAI and Microsoft makes this very feasible.” Again, more clues that seem to point to a possible return of Altman to OpenAI.
5:56 PM. Satya Nadella appears in an interview on CNBC in which he reveals his commitment to OpenAI and to Sam “regardless of what configuration.” His comments seem to suggest that there is a possibility of Altman and Brockman returning to OpenAI, although “obviously we want Sam and Greg to have a great home if they are not at OpenAI.”
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
1:31 AM. En The Information indicate that OpenAI’s board of directors, including its new interim CEO, Emmett Shear, is in negotiations with Sam Altman. Everyone is working “to reunite the company.” Sam Altman’s return as CEO seems feasible.
Image | Xataka with Midjourney
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