Dario Amodei, CEO and co-founder of Anthropic, an AI company backed by FTX, has reportedly declined a merger offer from OpenAI’s board of directors.
This latest development follows the recent dismissal of OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, on Nov. 17.
Anthropic’s Amodei turns down top role at OpenAI
According to sources close to the matter, the merger proposal included a significant incentive for Amodei: the opportunity to step in as the new CEO of OpenAI, succeeding Altman. However, Amodei chose to remain with Anthropic, a decision influenced by his current commitments and position at the AI firm.
The details surrounding the merger discussions remain unclear, with reports suggesting that the proposal may not have progressed to serious negotiations.
The latest development comes amidst a backdrop of financial intrigue involving FTX, the cryptocurrency exchange founded by convincted fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried, which acquired a substantial stake in Anthropic during the height of the now defunct exchange’s reign.
The stake, believed to be worth around $500 million, was part of an internal document circulated prior to FTX’s bankruptcy filing last November. The fate of this investment remains uncertain, as FTX’s bankruptcy trustee has yet to sell the stake.
The investment in Anthropic has drawn scrutiny, particularly from the U.S. Department of Justice, which alleges that the funds used for the investment originated from FTX customer accounts. This claim adds another layer of complexity to the ongoing FTX saga.
On the other hand, Anthropic’s recent fundraising efforts have sparked optimism among FTX creditors, who anticipate a potential increase in payouts if the stake in Anthropic is liquidated.
Last week, OpenAI’s board of directors made the decision to dismiss Sam Altman, citing a loss of confidence in his leadership capabilities. Following this, Microsoft swiftly announced Altman’s new role at the helm of an advanced AI research team.
The announcement has reportedly led to internal unrest at OpenAI, with threats of resignation from employees and pressure from major investors to reinstate Altman as CEO.