Most employees of OpenAI said in a letter Monday that they intend to quit their jobs after a change in CEO at the US-based artificial intelligence (AI) research company.
"The process through which you terminated Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and company. Your conduct has made it clear you did not have the competence to oversee OpenAI," said the open letter targeting the board of directors.
The letter's signatories include former interim CEO Mira Murati, who was replaced earlier Monday by Emmett Shear -- the former co-founder and CEO of the live video streaming firm Twitch.
Shear confirmed early Monday that he will take the top job at OpenAI.
The signatories also include COO Brad Lightcap and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever -- a board member who was blamed initially for coordinating a coup against Altman, according to multiple reports.
"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," Sutskever wrote on X.
Murati, in addition, wrote on X: "OpenAI is nothing without its people."
The letter is signed by somewhere between 500 to 700 employees out of 770, according to the reports.
It demands that Altman be reinstated as CEO along with Brockman, the firm's co-founder and former president, while almost all the employees also threatened to resign and join the duo in Microsoft.
The board of OpenAI, the maker of ChatGPT, fired Altman on Friday, saying he "was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities."
Altman, 38, served as the firm's CEO since 2020 and has already found a new role to lead a new AI research team at Microsoft, with Brockman joining him.
"We're extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team," Microsoft Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella earlier wrote on X.
"We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners," he added.
Altman, after the open letter was released, wrote on X: "satya and my top priority remains to ensure openai continues to thrive. We are committed to fully providing continuity of operations to our partners and customers. the openai/microsoft partnership makes this very doable."
After Microsoft began investing in OpenAI with an initial $1 billion in 2019, this amount is now estimated to have climbed to $13 billion.
Microsoft's stock price closed Monday with a 2.05% daily increase.