July 19, 2024

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Sam Altman is reinstated as OpenAI CEO five days after being fired

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Sam Altman is returning to OpenAI as CEO after his firing five days ago launched the company onto one of the wildest rollercoaster rides in tech history, the company announced in post on X. Former president Greg Brockman, who resigned on Friday in protest, will also return, The Verge‘s sources say. The original board has been disbanded and replaced by a new, temporary three-man board with Bret Taylor (chair), Larry Summers and original board member Adam D’Angelo.

The agreement has been struck “in principal,” and must still be approved by all parties. The only job of the initial board will be to vet and appoint a permanent board with up to 9 members that will resent OpenAI’s governance. One of those seats will likely to go Microsoft and Altman himself, The Verge reported.

Altman confirmed the news in a separate post. “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 said. That means Altman wouldn’t join Microsoft after all, though he added that he felt his decision at the time “was the best path for me and the team.”

“We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella added in another post. “We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance.”

Another major OpenAI investor, Thrive Capital, issued a statement calling Altman’s return “the best outcome for the company, its employees, those who build on their technologies and the world at large.” Helen Toner, who reportedly had a hand in ousting Altman in the first place, posted “and now, we all get some sleep.”

2023-11-22 02:00:37

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