The Windows maker is by far OpenAI’s biggest investor and OpenAI depends on Microsoft’s Azure cloud infrastructure for its costly computing infrastructure.
But Microsoft does not have a seat on the four-person non-profit board that governs the for-profit subsidiary of which Altman was chief executive, and had no say in his dismissal.
“At this point, I think it’s very, very clear that something has to change around the governance” of OpenAI, Nadella told CNBC.
“We’ll have a good dialogue with their board on that.”
In the early hours of Monday morning local time Nadella announced Altman and former OpenAI president and chairman Greg Brockman would join Microsoft.
The move, which one analyst compared to a world-class poker play, neutralised the threat that Altman, Brockman and other senior OpenAI staff could wind up working for a competitor such as Amazon, Apple or Google.
It temporarily brought to a halt the dizzying series of events that unfolded over the weekend, as investors including Microsoft, Tiger Global, Thrive Capital and Sequoia Capital lobbied for Altman to return to OpenAI.
Keeping options ‘open’
By the end of Monday, however, it was less clear whether Altman and Brockman would actually join Microsoft, where Nadella promised jobs for them and any other OpenAI staff who wished to follow them on a “new advanced AI research team”.