Microsoft Exits Role as OpenAI Board Observer Effective Immediately

“Over the past eight months, we have witnessed significant progress by the newly formed board and are confident in the company’s direction,” Microsoft writes

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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and CTO Mira Murati (Chris Smith/TheWrap)

Microsoft has exited its role as observer of the board for OpenAI “effective immediately.”

The board resignation comes after heightened scrutiny from both U.S. and European antitrust regulators on Microsoft’s partnership with the ChatGPT creators. Microsoft announced the departure in a letter Tuesday.

“Over the past eight months, we have witnessed significant progress by the newly formed board and are confident in the company’s direction,” the company wrote, according to WSJ. “Given all of this, we no longer believe our limited role as an observer is necessary.”

They continued, “We appreciate the support shown by OpenAI leadership and the OpenAI board as we made this decision.”

Microsoft first earned a seat after helping to reinstate OpenAI CEO Sam Altman after he was pushed out by other board members in 2023, getting an observer seat on the board in the process.

“We are grateful to Microsoft for voicing confidence in the Board and the direction of the company, and we look forward to continuing our successful partnership,” OpenAI added in a statement.

Microsoft did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

The surprise resignation came after the FTC opened an investigation into the tech giant’s investment — valued at around $13 billion — into OpenAI. The U.K.s’ Competition and Markets Authority and the European Union also had eyes and questions about the partnership.

According to reports, OpenAI will no longer have observer seats open to partners.

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