The story of Sam Altman’s dismissal as OpenAI CEO is already a good subject for a miniseries. After all, it is still not over. After it became known that Altman would be replaced by Emmett Shear from Twitch, and he, along with another OpenAI co-founder, Greek Brockman, will move to Microsoft with an unnamed number of colleagues, another OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever made a sensational statement.

Earlier it was reported that Sutskever was one of the initiators of Altman’s dismissal, with whom he had a conflict over the speed of bringing new products to market and their commercial application. The board of directors was also unhappy that Altman was trying to raise tens of billions of dollars from Middle Eastern sovereign wealth funds to create an AI chip startup to compete with NVIDIA’s processors.

However, after all the events, Ilya Sutskever changed his position and said that he now regretted his participation in Altman’s dismissal.

“I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we’ve built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company,” wrote Sutskever in X.

Even more surprisingly, he signed the letter along with 505 other OpenAI employees, who gave the board of directors an ultimatum to bring Altman back, otherwise they would all move with him to Microsoft. The letter itself was obtained by Wired, and we reproduce it in full:

To the Board of Directors at OpenAI,

OpenAI is the world’s leading AI company. We, the employees of OpenAI, have developed the best models and pushed the field to new frontiers. Our work on AI safety and governance shapes global norms. The products we built are used by millions of people around the world. Until now, the company we work for and cherish has never been in a stronger position.

The process through which you terminated Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and company. Your conduct has made it clear you did not have the competence to oversee OpenAI.

When we all unexpectedly learned of your decision, the leadership team of OpenAI acted swiftly to stabilize the company. They carefully listened to your concerns and tried to cooperate with you on all grounds. Despite many requests for specific facts for your allegations, you have never provided any written evidence. They also increasingly realized you were not capable of carrying out your duties, and were negotiating in bad faith.

The leadership team suggested that the most stabilizing path forward – the one that would best serve our mission, company, stakeholders, employees and the public – would be for you to resign and put in place a qualified board that could lead the company forward in stability.

Leadership worked with you around the clock to find a mutually agreeable outcome. Yet within two days of your initial decision, you again replaced interim CEO Mira Murati against the best interests of the company. You also informed the leadership team that allowing the company to be destroyed “would be consistent with the mission.”

Your actions have made it obvious that you are incapable of overseeing OpenAI. We are unable to work for or with people that lack competence, judgement and care for our mission and employees. We, the undersigned, may choose to resign from OpenAI and join the newly announced Microsoft subsidiary run by Sam Altman and Greg Brockman. Microsoft has assured us that there are positions for all OpenAI employees at this new subsidiary should we choose to join. We will take this step imminently, unless all current board members resign, and the board appoints two new lead independent directors, such as Bret Taylor and Will Hurd, and reinstates Sam Altman and Greg Brockman.

In addition to the ultimatum itself and the fact that it was signed by Sutskever, the letter also reveals an interesting position of Microsoft. Satya Nadella has managed to put the OpenAI board of directors on a fork, and there is no winning way out of this story for them now. If they don’t resign, then all these more than 500 OpenAI employees, which is 80% of the company’s workforce, will be transferred to Microsoft. If the board of directors fulfills the ultimatum, they will have to go ahead and reinstate Altman. Again, this is beneficial to Microsoft. It can be stated that Satya Nadella has once again shown his talent as a negotiator without applying direct pressure on the OpenAI board of directors.