Is Sam Altman joining Microsoft? Satya Nadella doesn’t seem to know

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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced precocious past nighttime that erstwhile OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman were some joining Microsoft to lead a caller precocious AI investigation team, an announcement that sent Microsoft’s banal value soaring. Now, little than 24 hours later, pursuing The Verge reporting that Sam Altman is still trying to return arsenic OpenAI CEO, Nadella doesn’t look truthful sure.

“[We’re] committed to OpenAI and Sam, irrespective of what configuration,” said Nadella successful an question and reply pinch CNBC’s Jon Fortt, adding that Microsoft “chose to explicitly partner pinch OpenAI [and] evidently that depends connected nan group astatine OpenAI staying location aliases coming to Microsoft, truthful I’m unfastened to some options.” Nadella added that “obviously we want Sam and Greg to person a awesome location if they’re not going to beryllium [at] OpenAI, pinch each nan colleagues astatine Microsoft, but I’m precisely wherever I was connected Friday morning.”

On Friday greeting Nadella woke up pinch Sam Altman still OpenAI CEO and a adjacent business pinch nan company. Hours later nan OpenAI committee chose to occurrence Sam Altman successful a daze decision, and it judge sounds for illustration Nadella wishes he could deed nan reset fastener backmost to Friday morning.

Pressed connected whether Altman and nan hundreds of OpenAI labor threatening to resign will really subordinate Microsoft, Nadella responded “that is for OpenAI committee and guidance and nan labor to choose,” earlier explaining Microsoft already has its ain AI capabilities, a connection intelligibly meant to calm jittery investors and worried OpenAI customers.

In an question and reply pinch Bloomberg TV conscionable moments later, anchor Emily Chang tried to get much retired of Nadella connected nan Altman and Brockman hiring announcement. Are they really Microsoft employees? “So they’re each successful nan process of joining,” replied Nadella, earlier quickly pivoting to talking astir Microsoft’s ain AI activity again.

Reading betwixt nan lines of these strained interviews, it’s clear Nadella wants what Altman and hundreds of OpenAI labor want: nan OpenAI committee gone. He didn’t explicitly opportunity that, but he was much consenting to talk astir committee changes to Bloomberg TV than nan imaginable for Sam Altman to beryllium an existent Microsoft employee:

I deliberation we will decidedly want immoderate governance changes. Surprises are bad and we conscionable want to make judge that things are done successful a measurement that will let is to proceed to partner well. This thought that someway abruptly changes hap without being successful nan loop is not bully and we will decidedly guarantee that immoderate of nan changes that are needed hap and we proceed to beryllium capable to spell on pinch nan business pinch OpenAI.

I reported earlier coming that Sam Altman isn’t showing up successful Microsoft’s firm directory yet, according to aggregate sources. That’s not hugely astonishing arsenic Microsoft’s HR and onboarding processes aren’t group up for 24-hour emergency deals, but Microsoft besides hasn’t elaborate nan assignment to labor successful immoderate soul company-wide memos yet. If Altman is afloat onboarded to Microsoft past he’ll person a CEO title wrong Microsoft, which is typically reserved for nan leaders of large divisions like Microsoft Gaming, aliases acquired companies like LinkedIn and GitHub.

So Sam Altman looks group to proceed to beryllium a CEO. The mobility still remains whether that’s astatine Microsoft, aliases OpenAI.

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