In a surprising turn of events, Microsoft has announced the hiring of former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman, signaling a significant shift in the landscape of AI research and development.

Sam Altman, who was unexpectedly fired from OpenAI last Friday, joins Microsoft alongside Greg Brockman to spearhead a new advanced AI research team. This move comes after a tumultuous weekend of negotiations that failed to reinstate Altman at OpenAI. “We’re thrilled to welcome Sam Altman and Greg Brockman to Microsoft,” stated Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “Their expertise will be invaluable as we advance our AI initiatives.”

Altman’s departure from OpenAI was marked by the board’s loss of confidence in his leadership, leading to the appointment of former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear as the interim CEO. Despite these changes, Microsoft maintains a robust partnership with OpenAI, underpinned by a multibillion-dollar investment rumored to be around $10 billion.

In a post on X (formerly known as Twitter), Altman expressed his enthusiasm about the new role, indicating a continuation of his vision in AI. Nadella hinted at the autonomy Altman will have at Microsoft, drawing parallels with the independence granted to other Microsoft acquisitions like GitHub and LinkedIn.

The news comes just as Microsoft revealed its development of custom AI chips, potentially reducing its reliance on Nvidia. These chips, designed for Azure data centers, represent Microsoft’s commitment to innovation in cloud computing and AI technologies.

As the AI landscape continues to evolve, the industry eyes are on how these leadership changes will shape the future of AI research and development at both Microsoft and OpenAI.