Sam Altman to return as OpenAI CEO following board shuffle

A whirlwind week for OpenAI seems to have now come full circle as co-founder Sam Altman has agreed to reassume his position as CEO. Altman was ousted last Friday, though a this point the reasoning behind Altman’s firing remains unclear. As per its official announcement on the matter, OpenAI stated that,

Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.

The news grabbed headlines throughout the following days. In response to the move the company’s president and co-founder Greg Brockman resigned later the same day. Though it was announced on November 19 that Microsoft had hired Altman to lead a new AI research team, those plans have apparently been scrapped with the news of Altman’s return to OpenAI. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella remarked recently, “[We’re] committed to OpenAI and Sam, irrespective of what configuration.”

Over 500 OpenAI employees threated to leave the company in an open letter and follow Altman to Microsoft unless the board resigns. With the latest news, they appear to have gotten their wish as OpenAI announced via X (Twitter) that Altman’s return would be with a new initial board.

Initial board members include former Twitter board chairperson Bret Taylor, former U.S. treasury secretary Larry Summers and Adam D’Angelo, former chief executive of Quora and one of the board members who voted to fire Altman.

With Altman’s return it seems the company is taking the right steps to undo the damage caused. How OpenAI’s relationship with Microsoft might be affected going forward remains to be seen.

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