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OpenAI board shakeup: Microsoft out, Apple backs away amid AI partnership scrutiny

The OpenAI logo superimposed over a Microsoft logo background

Enlarge (credit: Benj Edwards / OpenAI / Microsoft)

Microsoft has withdrawn from its non-voting observer role on OpenAI’s board, while Apple has opted not to take a similar position, reports Axios and Financial Times. The ChatGPT maker plans to update its business partners and investors through regular meetings instead of board representation. The development comes as regulators in the EU and US increase their scrutiny of Big Tech’s investments in AI startups.

Axios reports that on Tuesday, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Keith Dolliver, sent a letter to OpenAI stating that the tech giant’s board role was “no longer necessary” given the “significant progress” made by the newly formed board. Microsoft had accepted a non-voting position on OpenAI’s board in November following the ouster and reinstatement of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman.

Last week, Bloomberg reported that Apple’s Phil Schiller, who leads the App Store and Apple Events, might join OpenAI’s board in an observer role as part of an AI deal. However, the Financial Times now reports that Apple will not take up such a position, citing a person with direct knowledge of the matter. Apple did not immediately respond to our request for comment.

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