FTX-backed artificial intelligence company Anthropic’s CEO and co-founder Dario Amodei declined an offer from OpenAI’s board of directors to merge, according to a report by The Information which cited a “person with direct knowledge.”
The proposal came after OpenAI fired CEO Sam Altman on Friday and the deal had a sweetener – For Amodei to replace Altman as CEO, which he also turned down due to his position at Anthropic, according to the report.
“It’s not clear whether the merger proposal led to any serious discussion,” the report said.
Later, Reuters also reported the offers were made and declined, citing two people briefed on the matter.
FTX bought a stake in Anthropic supposedly worth $500 million, according to an internal document circulated before last November’s bankruptcy filing. FTX’s bankruptcy trustee has yet to sell the stake.
The AI firm’s several fundraising efforts recently raised hopes that FTX creditors may receive a larger payout should the stake be sold. The U.S. Department of Justice alleges that the $500 million investment in Anthropic in 2022 came from customer funds.
OpenAI and Anthropic didn’t immediately respond to CoinDesk’s requests for comment.
OpenAI’s board of directors sacked Altman last week because they no longer had confidence in him to continue leading the company. Microsoft quickly announced that Altman would lead a new advanced AI research team. This has been followed by threats to resign from OpenAI’s employees and attempts by OpenAI’s major investors to reinstate Altman.
UPDATE (November 21, 2023, 07:10 UTC): Adds further details.