Salesforce CEO Offers Jobs To Any OpenAI Researchers Who Resign


Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff said Monday the software company will match the salary of any researcher who resigns from OpenAI, as over 700 employees of the embattled artificial intelligence company threaten to quit and follow ousted CEO Sam Altman to Microsoft.

Key Facts

Benioff said Salesforce will hire any OpenAI researcher who resigns from the AI startup amid Altman’s firing.

The CEO offered researchers at OpenAI—the parent company of generative chatbot ChatGPT—positions on Salesforce’s AI research team working on the company’s Einstein AI technology led by Silvio Savarese.

Benioff told OpenAI researchers to send their CV directly to his Salesforce email.

Salesforce launched Einstein GPT, its generative AI customer relationship management technology, in March, and Benioff says the Einstein platform completed 1 trillion predictive and generative transactions this week.

Key Background

Over 700 of OpenAI’s 770 employees have signed a letter saying they will leave OpenAI unless the company’s board of directors resigns, after it abruptly decided to fire Altman Friday—a move the staff said “has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and company.” The company’s board—which is unusual in that its members have no equity and no compensation from the company—said it fired Altman after a review showed “he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” According to OpenAI, the fiduciary duty of its board is to further the company’s mission of creating “safe AGI that is broadly beneficial.” Since the firing, Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist and a member of the board who pushed to fire Altman, said he regretted the decision and signed the letter threatening to resign. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced early Monday that the tech giant—which has invested $10 billion into OpenAI—hired Altman and Brockman to lead its new AI research unit, and the employee letter said Microsoft “has assured us” that employees who choose to resign from OpenAI can have jobs at Microsoft. Nadella said Microsoft remains “committed” to its partnership with OpenAI.

Forbes Valuation

We estimate Benioff, who owns about 3% of Salesforce, to be worth $8.4 billion.

Further Reading

More Than 700 OpenAI Employees Threaten To Quit—And Join Microsoft—Unless Board Resigns (Forbes)

Ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman Joins Microsoft To Lead Its New AI Research Team (Forbes)

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