Nov 20 (Reuters) – OpenAI’s board of directors approached rival Anthropic’s CEO about replacing chief Sam Altman and potentially merging the two AI startups, according to two people briefed on the matter.
Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei declined on both fronts, the people said.
The news, reported earlier by The Information on Monday, follows various reported calls to find Altman’s successor days after OpenAI’s board ousted him.
OpenAI declined to comment and board member Adam D’Angelo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
On Sunday the board offered ex-Twitch CEO Emmett Shear to be its interim chief, who accepted. Meanwhile, Altman agreed to join the startup’s backer Microsoft (MSFT.O) along with other key personnel from OpenAI. By Monday, nearly all of the startup’s more than 700 employees threatened to quit, including one of its executives on OpenAI’s now four-person board.
The co-founders of Anthropic, who were also executives at OpenAI until 2020, had broken from their employer over disagreements regarding how to ensure AI’s safe development and governance.
Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in San Francisco and Urvi Dugar in Bengaluru; Editing by Nivedita Bhattacharjee and Sam Holmes
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