Sam Altman will return as OpenAI CEO after staff threatened to resign

Open AI will bring back Sam Altman and appoint new board members, after nearly all of its employees threatened to leave the AI startup over his surprise ouster earlier.

Altman will be returning to his role as CEO, and the new board will be chaired by Bret Taylor. Larry Summers and Adam D’Angelo will also join the board.

“We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo. We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this,” OpenAI wrote in a social media post on X.

In a separate social media post on X, Sam Altman said he loves OpenAI, and everything he has done over the past few days has been in service of keeping this team and its mission together.

“When I decided to join Microsoft on Sunday evening, it was clear that was the best path for me and the team. with the new board and with Satya’s support, I’m looking forward to returning to openai, and building on our strong partnership with Microsoft,” he wrote.

sam altman will return as openai ceo after staff threatened to resign

The board of directors of OpenAI, Inc., the 501(c)(3) that acts as the overall governing body for all OpenAI activities, announced on Nov 17 that Altman will depart as CEO and leave the board of directors. Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, will serve as interim CEO, effective immediately.

According to the statement then, 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 statement added.

OpenAI’s board of directors then consists of OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, independent directors Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology’s Helen Toner.

As a part of this transition, Greg Brockman will be stepping down as chairman of the board and will remain in his role at the company, reporting to the CEO, the statement said.

Following Altman’s ouster, hundreds of OpenAI employees, including co-founder and board member Ilya Sutskever, signed a letter demanding that remaining board members resign or they would leave.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said on Monday that Altman and others from OpenAI would be joining to start a “new advanced AI research team,” CNBC reported.

OpenAI was founded as a non-profit in 2015 with the core mission of ensuring that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity. In 2019, OpenAI restructured to ensure that the company could raise capital in pursuit of this mission, while preserving the nonprofit’s mission, governance, and oversight, the company said.


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