Microsoft says it’s ready to hire all of OpenAI’s employees should they leave, some of whom make north of $1 million. 

Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott tweeted the offer today after 95%+ of OpenAI’s employees signed a letter, threatening to resign from the San Francisco lab unless ousted CEO Sam Altman returns as chief executive. 

“To my partners at OpenAI: We have seen your petition and appreciate your desire potentially to join Sam Altman at Microsoft’s new AI Research Lab,” Scott wrote. “Know that if needed, you have a role at Microsoft that matches your compensation and advances our collective mission.”

Tweet may have been deleted

The tweet confirms that Microsoft will try to absorb OpenAI’s staff if Altman fails to be reinstated as CEO. Last Friday, OpenAI’s board abruptly fired Altman with little explanation. In response, hundreds of OpenAI employees, including top executives, have been signing a letter calling for the return of Altman and for the complete dismissal of OpenAI’s current four-member board. 

“Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAl employees at this new subsidiary should we choose to join,” says the letter, which has since been signed by 743 OpenAI staffers out of 770. 

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Microsoft says it’ll also hire Altman to lead a new advanced AI research team at the company, essentially ensuring that OpenAI’s core team remains a partner, despite the executive turmoil. But it’s unclear if Altman will join Microsoft or engineer a return to his former company. According to The Information, Altman is still in talks with OpenAI’s board about coming back as CEO, but only if the board is overhauled. 

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