July 18, 2024

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Microsoft secures non-voting board seat at OpenAI

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Sam Altman, chief executive officer (CEO) of OpenAI and inventor of the AI software ChatGPT, joins the Technical University of Munich (TUM) for a panel discussion. 

Sven Hoppe | Picture Alliance | Getty Images

Microsoft will have a non-voting board seat at OpenAI, the company announced on Wednesday.

The move quells some of the remaining questions about Microsoft’s interest in the startup after a turbulent month that saw the company’s controlling non-profit board fire and then re-hire CEO Sam Altman.

OpenAI’s outlook has been intertwined with Microsoft since the software giant invested $13 billion into OpenAI and integrated its AI models into Office and other Microsoft programs. Previously, Microsoft did not have official representation on the board of directors that controlled the startup, allowing it to be surprised when Altman was first fired.

“We clearly made the right choice to partner with Microsoft and I’m excited that our new board will include them as a non-voting observer,” Altman said in a note to staff posted on OpenAI’s website.

Altman commended the team and said that OpenAI did not lose any employees in the upheaval.

“Now that we’re through all of this, we didn’t lose a single employee. You stood firm for each other, this company, and our mission,” Altman wrote.

Altman said in his note that a board of directors — including former Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo — would build out a new board of directors for the startup.

Mira Murati, who had been OpenAI’s CTO and was briefly named interim CEO earlier this month, is the company’s CTO once again, and Greg Brockman has returned as OpenAI president.

Taylor, who will lead the new board, said in a message posted on OpenAI’s website that he was focused on “strengthening OpenAI’s corporate governance.” In a subsequent post on X, formerly Twitter, Taylor said that he would leave the board after it’s fully staffed and the company is stabilized.

“As I have…



2023-11-29 21:18:00

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