Sam Altman Rejoins OpenAI as CEO After Brief Departure
Nov 22, 2023
After a tumultuous few days, it seems like the dust has finally settled at OpenAI. The company announced early Wednesday that former chief executive Sam Altman will be returning to his role, along with the appointment of a new board of directors.
In a statement on social media platform X (formerly known as Twitter), OpenAI revealed that they had reached an agreement in principle for Altman to return as CEO. Altman himself expressed his excitement about returning to the company and continuing his work in the field of AI.
This development has also been welcomed by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who stated that the company is encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board. He added that they look forward to strengthening their partnership and bringing the benefits of this new era of AI to their customers and partners.
The newly appointed initial board will include Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo. This means that the majority of the individuals involved in Altman’s dismissal last Friday will no longer be a part of the board.
Interestingly, D’Angelo remains as a former board member who was originally responsible for Altman’s firing. It is reported that D’Angelo will continue to serve on this new board in order to provide representation for the prior board’s decisions.
According to sources close to the negotiations, Microsoft is expected to push for a seat on increasing the board to nine members in the future.
Altman’s sudden firing came with the accusation that he was not transparent enough in his communications with the previous board of directors. This led to a loss of confidence in his leadership abilities. Along with Altman, another co-founder, Greg Brockman, also left the company.
In response to this shake-up, OpenAI employees, including co-founder Ilya Sutzkever, penned an open letter on Monday demanding Altman’s return. They also expressed their willingness to follow him if he were to join Microsoft.
It was reported earlier this week that both Altman and Brockman had already moved to the technology giant. Microsoft has been a major investor in OpenAI, committing $10 billion to the AI developer this year.