Open AI Resignations: The Brewing Crisis at OpenAI

Pradip Maheshwari
Open AI Resignations


OpenAI, the renowned artificial intelligence research company, finds itself in the midst of a tumultuous upheaval as a staggering majority of its employees have threatened to resign en masse. This unprecedented move comes in response to the shocking termination of the company’s CEO, Sam Altman, by the board of directors on Friday. The situation has escalated rapidly, with employees accusing the board of incompetence and a lack of care for the company’s mission and its workforce.

The Demands and Ultimatum

In a bold and unified stance, over 95% of OpenAI’s 750 employees have signed an open letter demanding the reinstatement of Altman as CEO and the resignation of the entire board. The letter’s signatories include Ilya Sutskever, the company’s chief scientist and a board member, who later expressed regret for his involvement in Altman’s dismissal.

The employees have made it clear that if their demands are not met, they are prepared to resign en masse and join Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman at Microsoft, where the two have recently been hired to head a new AI research unit.

The Fallout and Resignations

The aftershocks of Altman’s dismissal are already being felt, with three senior researchers – Jakub Pachocki, Aleksander Madry, and Szymon Sidor – having already tendered their resignations in the wake of the news. The board’s decision to terminate Altman’s tenure has been met with fierce criticism from the employees, who have accused the board of negotiating in bad faith and failing to provide specific evidence to support their allegations that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications.”

The Microsoft Factor and Visa Concerns

The potential mass exodus to Microsoft has added another layer of complexity to the situation. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has expressed openness to Altman staying at OpenAI or joining the tech giant’s ranks, suggesting that OpenAI’s governance structure may need to be reevaluated.

Moreover, the mass resignation threat has put foreign work visa holders at OpenAI in a particularly precarious situation, as they risk losing their immigration status if they quit. However, experts suggest that large tech companies like Microsoft often have codified processes in place to help employees navigate such situations, potentially mitigating the impact on visa holders.


As the crisis at OpenAI unfolds, the company finds itself at a crossroads, with the fate of its leadership, workforce, and future direction hanging in the balance. The employees’ unwavering solidarity and determination to stand by Altman have set the stage for a showdown with the board, leaving the AI community and industry observers alike to watch with bated breath as this high-stakes drama plays out.

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