Nov 21, 2023 - Technology

Microsoft prepares for influx of OpenAI employees


LinkedIn's San Francisco office. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

While negotiations between the OpenAI board and various factions continue, Microsoft has been readying office space and computing resources for an influx of OpenAI employees, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: Although Sam Altman's return to OpenAI remains a possibility, Microsoft is preparing for a world in which Altman and many of his former colleagues join their firm.

Details: A source familiar with the matter said Microsoft is setting up space in the San Francisco offices of LinkedIn, which are just a 10-minute drive from OpenAI's main building in SF.

  • The company is readying work spaces, training clusters and Macs to ensure OpenAI's workers can hit the ground running, the source said.
  • It also has legal and HR personnel at the ready to handle hiring and onboarding.

Flashback: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced late Sunday that Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman were joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team.

Yes, but: The situation remains in flux and discussions with the board continue.

  • As we reported earlier today, Microsoft will also be just fine with the scenario in which Altman returns to OpenAI and the board is reconstituted — which Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella made clear is a requirement.

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