OpenAI's Ilya Sutskever, believed to be behind Sam Altman's sacking, expresses regret

Ilya Sutskever, the Chief scientist at OpenAI, has expressed regret on X for being a part of the board that fired Altman.

| Updated on: Nov 20 2023, 21:04 IST
Sam Altman
Notably, Ilya Sutskever is considered as the main actor behind the ousting of Sam Altman from OpenAI. (AP)
Sam Altman
Notably, Ilya Sutskever is considered as the main actor behind the ousting of Sam Altman from OpenAI. (AP)

After the dust settled over the controversial ouster of Sam Altman as CEO of OpenAI, the main character widely believed to be behind the entire sequence of events, Ilya Sutskever, Chief scientist at OpenAI, has expressed regret in an X post. Notably, Altman was sacked ostensibly at the insistence of Sutskever. After talks to bring back Altman to OpenAI failed, the former CEO joined Microsoft, a move that is widely seen as burnishing the credentials of CEO Satya Nadella and a slap in the face of his former company. In effect, through this gesture, even Microsoft has passed a motion of no confidence against theOpenAI board. Former OpenAI President Greg Brockman too will be joining Microsoft. This announcement was made just hours after it was cleared that Altman would not be reinstated by OpenAI. In effect that has meant that OpenAI has had three CEOs in the span of almost as many days - Altman, Mira Murati (interim CEO) and then Emmett Shear (interim CEO).

Ilya Sutskever: Friend or Foe?

Ilya Sutskever took to X and posted “I deeply regret my participation in the board's actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we've built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company.” However, he has not mentioned Altman's name and that does not help tone down his actions.

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How it all happened

Reportedly, Sutskever texted Sam Altman on November 16 to join a Google Meet the following day. According to a post by Brockman on the X platform, “Ilya told Sam he was being fired and that the news was going out very soon.” Just after Sacking Altman, Brockman was informed that he was being removed from his position as chairman of the board but would continue to hold his position as president. However, Brockman also resigned from the President's post in retaliation.

OpenAI Walks Into an Uncertain Future WIth Eyes Closed

How OpenAI manages to function without Sam Altman and Brockman and many employees who are expected to leave the company and join Microsoft is still not clear, but going back to business as usual will be extremely tough, if not impossible. Losing the face of the company will have an impact, especially on investors who were not told of the impending sacking and the same may be reflected in the drop in market value of the company.

Coup by Satya Nadella

Microsoft, on the other hand, is sitting pretty. Its share price, which dropped immediately after the sacking of Altman, has recovered ever since it was announced that Nadella has hired him. NY Times quoted analysts at Macquarie, a bank, as saying in a research note, “We think Mr. Nadella may have pulled off his own coup, acquiring the most important part of OpenAI: its ambitious talent”.

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First Published Date: 20 Nov, 21:04 IST