Skip to main content

Microsoft relinquishes non-voting observer seat on OpenAI board

The withdrawal distances the company from antitrust concerns and regulatory scrutiny around AI

Chat GPT
Image credit: OpenAI

Microsoft has relinquished its non-voting observer seat on OpenAI's board.

Keith Dolliver, Microsoft's deputy general counsel, reportedly wrote to OpenAI at the start of the week to express its belief that it was "no longer necessary" to observe the newly-formed board due to the "significant progress" OpenAI had made.

Microsoft assumed a non-voting role back in November when Sam Altman was ousted – and then reinstated – as CEO.

In the letter seen by Axios, Microsoft informed OpenAI that "over the past eight months, [it had] witnessed significant progress from the newly formed board and [is] confident in the company's direction."

With Microsoft withdrawing from its observer position, it's now thought OpenAI will opt not to have any observers on its board at all, ameroilating any such role for Apple, which had originally intended to assign Phil Schiller to the board.

The withdrawal of Microsoft from OpenAI's board also distances both companies from the antitrust concerns and regulatory scrutiny instigated by their association with ChatGPT and generative AI.

OpenAI said that whilst it was removing observers from its board, it was "establishing a new approach to informing and engaging key strategic partners – such as Microsoft and Apple – and investors – such as Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures."

OpenAI announced back in 2019 that it was accepting $1 billion in investment from Microsoft as it pursued its goal of creating artificial general intelligence.

Read this next

Vikki Blake avatar
Vikki Blake: When​ ​her friends​ ​were falling in love with soap stars, Vikki was falling in love with​ ​video games. She's a survival horror survivalist​ ​with a penchant for​ ​Yorkshire Tea, men dressed up as doctors and sweary words. She struggles to juggle a fair-to-middling Destiny/Halo addiction​ ​and her kill/death ratio is terrible.
Related topics