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Tadao Nagasaki, a former tech executive from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and F5, has joined OpenAI to lead its new Tokyo office, marking the company’s first office in Asia. With over 12 years of experience at AWS and a decade at F5, Nagasaki brings a wealth of knowledge to OpenAI as it aims to expand its presence in Asia. OpenAI chose Japan as its first Asian office due to the country’s global leadership in technology, culture of service, and innovation. The company has also released a GPT-4 custom model optimized for the Japanese language to cater to the local market’s specific needs.

The decision to establish a presence in Japan brings OpenAI closer to leading businesses in the region, such as Daikin, Rakuten, TOYOTA Connected, and local governments like Yokosuka City. These organizations are leveraging ChatGPT Enterprise to automate business processes, assist in data analysis, and improve public services efficiency. OpenAI also has offices in Dublin and London, in addition to its San Francisco headquarters. Japan, being the world’s fourth-largest economy, has seen significant investments in AI infrastructure from major tech companies like AWS and Microsoft, indicating the country’s growing importance in the tech industry.

Matt Welsh, co-founder of, a large language model startup based in Seattle, has left the company to work on a new computing platform focused on large language models. Welsh, who previously worked at Apple, Google,, and OctoML, raised $17 million for Fixie last year. Hessam Bagherinezhad, another co-founder, also left Fixie and is now at OpenAI. Welsh’s departure signals a shift in focus for Fixie, as the company pivots to real-time conversational AI under the leadership of the remaining co-founders, Justin Uberti and Zach Koch.

In other personnel changes in the Pacific Northwest tech ecosystem, Jeff Bogdan, a longtime engineer at Microsoft, announced that he was laid off from the company after 33 years. Bogdan, who was the director of learning and development on the Windows team, expressed his desire to continue contributing to the tech industry in a different capacity. Meanwhile, Seattle startup Yuzi, a platform supporting new moms, welcomed Sarah Daniels, a veteran tech leader, as a strategic advisor. These personnel changes reflect the dynamic nature of the tech industry, with experienced professionals transitioning to new roles and startups evolving to meet changing market demands.

With OpenAI expanding to Japan and major tech companies like AWS and Microsoft investing heavily in the country’s AI infrastructure, Japan’s role in the global tech ecosystem is gaining prominence. As the world’s fourth-largest economy, Japan offers significant opportunities for tech companies looking to establish a presence in the region. The addition of seasoned professionals like Tadao Nagasaki to OpenAI’s team in Tokyo highlights the company’s commitment to tapping into Japan’s technology talent pool and fostering innovation in the AI space. These developments underscore the growing importance of Japan as a key player in the tech industry and reflect the broader trend of globalization and collaboration in the field of artificial intelligence.

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