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OpenAI CEO Apologizes for Equity Cancellation Clause

OpenAI CEO Apologizes for Equity Cancellation Clause

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has addressed concerns about a contentious clause in leave agreements, clarifying that it implied potential equity cancellation. He emphasized that OpenAI has never utilized this particular clause, despite the worries it caused. Moreover, Altman assured that no separation agreements or non-disparagement clauses would affect vested equity, which reassures employees. His response follows recent resignations, highlighting the importance of transparency and trust within the company. In conclusion, Altman’s statements aim to alleviate fears and maintain confidence in OpenAI’s commitment to its workforce.

OpenAI Explanation of Vested Ownership

Altman emphasised that adding the clause—which was present in earlier leave documents—was a bad idea and shouldn’t have happened.

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“I take the full responsibility for this and it is one of the very few times I have been really embarrassed running OpenAI; I did not know that this was happening, and I should have,” Altman said.

He assured the former workers that they could speak with him directly about any concerns regarding this section and have it corrected.

It raised many questions about the equity cancellation provision’s intended use and potential misuse. In an effort to mitigate future occurrences, Altman acknowledged the error and mentioned that the company had been revising its exit paperwork for a month. This proactive approach reflects a commitment to rectifying mistakes and enhancing procedures.

Safety concerns and resignations of employees

After several resignations, including that of Jan Leike, OpenAI’s alignment lead, Altman explained. On May 17th, Leike tendered his resignation, pointing out OpenAI’s prioritization of product development over AI safety as his main reason.

in regards to recent stuff about how openai handles equity:

we have never clawed back anyone’s vested equity, nor will we do that if people do not sign a separation agreement (or don’t agree to a non-disparagement agreement). vested equity is vested equity, full stop.

there was…

— Sam Altman (@sama) May 18, 2024

He assured former workers they could discuss concerns directly with him and have any issues with this section corrected.

It raised many questions about the equity cancellation provision’s intended use and potential misuse. Altman acknowledged the error and said the company had been updating its usual exit paperwork for a month to prevent recurrence.

Safety concerns and resignations of employees

After several resignations, including that of Jan Leike, OpenAI’s alignment lead, Altman explained. Leike resigned on May 17th, citing concerns about OpenAI’s focus on product development over AI safety as the reason.

We’re really grateful to Jan for everything he’s done for OpenAI, and we know he’ll continue to contribute to the mission from outside. In light of the questions his departure has raised, we wanted to explain a bit about how we think about our overall strategy.

First, we have… https://t.co/djlcqEiLLN

— Greg Brockman (@gdb) May 18, 2024

Acknowledging the complexity, he emphasized the need for constant oversight and enhancement of safety measures in creating and implementing AGI. Moreover, he stressed the importance of recognizing the unprecedented obstacles that will arise. These challenges demand continuous vigilance and improvement in safety protocols.

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