When OpenAI, a leading artificial intelligence (AI) research laboratory, announced former Y Combinator president Sam Altman as their new CEO earlier this week, OpenAI employees were faced with a strange and uncomfortable decision: Would they remain at the company or join an exodus of workers who felt betrayed by the sudden shift in leadership? The employees of OpenAI have since made their feelings known regarding Altman’s inclusion in the team. In a series of emails, tweets, and Slack messages, many of the employees have made it clear that they do not support the decision. Some have even threatened to quit the company en masse over the sudden leadership change. The reason behind the employees’ discontent is that Altman is also a Microsoft employee. Prior to taking up the role at OpenAI, he had been working as a corporate vice president at Microsoft, where he was responsible for helping to coordinate the company’s artificial intelligence strategy. The fact that Altman is employed by a competitor to OpenAI has caused a great deal of concern amongst the employees, who worry that the company’s research efforts will be undercut or overshadowed by the presence of Microsoft within the organization. The employees at OpenAI are not the only ones upset with Altman’s appointment; many in the AI research community as a whole have expressed their dismay, citing a conflict of interests and the potential for corporate-led profiteering. This fear was further compounded by a policy change at OpenAI which stipulates that all employees must essentially pledge any future work to the research laboratory. At this time, it remains to be seen if the discontent among the OpenAI staff will result in an exodus of talent. However, it is clear that the decision to bring on Altman as their new CEO is dividing opinion. Despite the controversy, Altman has stood by his decision to join the team, stating that he firmly believes in OpenAI’s mission and that he is confident that the organization can continue to facilitate groundbreaking advances in the field of artificial intelligence.