A few days ago, Sam Altman was fired from his position as OpenAI's CEO in a surprise move.
Altman has, as of now, accepted an offer by Microsoft to join the company as head of an AI lab. Microsoft has extended its offer to all OpenAI employees, and some have apparently already made the move.
I was wondering about the role of intellectual property here, and non-compete clauses. Given the increasing ubiquity of such clauses, I must assume that at least many engineers had to sign one, even though Altman, one of the founders, may have been exempt.
Additionally, typical work contracts transfer the ownership of the products of one's work to the employer.
How does that align with key personnel moving directly to a competitor? Does it play a role that Microsoft holds a 49% share in OpenAI? Can Altman and his engineers simply replicate and continue their product at another company? (Let us assume here that they would circumvent or properly license any patents etc. explicitly protecting intellectual property of OpenAI).
Edit Nov 22, 2023: Can a company have a non-compete clause against itself? ;-)