Sam Altman to return as OpenAI CEO just days after being ousted

OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman is set to reclaim his position as CEO after being ousted by the company’s board just days ago, reports Axios. Additionally, a revamped board, led by former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor and former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, has been announced.

This agreement “in principle” follows employee support for Altman, expressed through a critical open letter threatening mass resignations unless his reinstatement occurs.

What happened to Sam Altman?

The leadership clash within OpenAI, the mastermind behind the AI chatbot ChatGPT, unfolded abruptly last Friday with the board of directors making a sudden announcement of the dismissal of co-founder and CEO Sam Altman.

The board cited Altman’s alleged lack of consistent candor in his communications as the primary reason for their loss of confidence in his leadership. The board consisted of only six individuals, including Altman and his co-founder Greg Brockman, who resigned in the aftermath of Altman’s removal.

The OpenAI board reshuffle and how Microsoft became involved

The new board’s creation will likely bring closure to the recent drama surrounding the $80 billion company, when OpenAI’s non-profit board voted to remove Altman.

Notable figures like former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and current board member Adam D’Angelo, co-founder of Quora, will join the restructured board. Additionally, OpenAI’s chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, and independent directors Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner will exit. Greg Brockman also confirmed his return in a post on X.

By offering Altman a leadership position in advanced AI research, Microsoft played a key role in the chaos. Altman’s removal initiated events, including the resignation of Brockman. The decision implicated three non-employee board members and Sutskever, who later issued an apology.

A crucial aspect of the agreement involves an independent investigation into the events leading to Altman’s initial removal, addressing concerns surrounding transparency.

“I am looking forward to returning to OpenAI,” Mr Altman said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.

He added: “I love OpenAI, and everything I’ve done over the past few days has been in service of keeping this team and its mission together.

He added the firm would build on its “strong partnership with Microsoft.”

Featured Image: Sam Altman provided by Flickr/TechCrunch, Creative Commons 2.0 License

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