Some investors in ChatGPT maker Open AI are considering legal action against the board of directors over the firing of company CEO Sam Altman, according to insiders. Investors have sought legal advice to explore their options, people familiar with the matter told Reuters news agency on Monday. It was initially unclear whether there would be a lawsuit. Altman's surprise dismissal on Friday had sparked concerns about the company's future.
The ousted Altman on Monday tried to allay concerns about the AI pioneer's collapse. For him and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, the top priority is to ensure "the continued flourishing of OpenAI," Altman wrote on Monday on the short message service X (formerly Twitter). Partners and customers should be guaranteed full continuity of operations, he added, referring to the partnership between OpenAI and Microsoft. Altman had moved to the software company shortly after his dismissal.
The Reuters news agency had obtained a letter in which almost all of OpenAI's more than 700 employees had threatened to resign if the board of directors did not resign. It also called for the return of Altman as well as Chairman Greg Brockman, who had also moved to Microsoft after the CEO's dismissal. According to Nadella, Altman will lead a new research group there. Microsoft assured all OpenAI employees of jobs in the new subsidiary. When asked, OpenAI referred to Altman's posting on X.
Microsoft owns 49 percent of the company, other investors and employees control another 49 percent, and two percent is held by OpenAI's nonprofit parent company.
Altman is considered the human face of generative AI, which can simulate human communication and create complex texts using a few keywords.