As the final move of the unprecedented firing and rehiring drama over the weekend, Sam Altman is set to make a comeback as the CEO of OpenAI, the renowned AI startup. This decision comes after a week of intense discussions and debates following Altman’s abrupt dismissal from the company he co-founded. OpenAI, currently the most valuable U.S. startup, has not only secured Altman’s return but is also making significant changes to its board, addressing concerns raised in the past week.
The newly reformed board will now include prominent figures such as Bret Taylor, former co-CEO of Salesforce, Larry Summers, former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury, and Adam D’Angelo, founder of Quora. Taylor is set to chair the board, bringing a fresh perspective to the leadership of the AI startup.
How did the CEO drama unfold?
Microsoft, a major investor in OpenAI with a 49% ownership stake, was taken by surprise with Altman’s dismissal. In response, the tech giant swiftly hired Altman to lead a new AI group within its conglomerate. This move led to the resignation of Greg Brockman, former President of OpenAI, and other members in protest. However, with Altman’s return, Brockman is also set to rejoin the startup.
Expressing his commitment to OpenAI, Altman stated, “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 acknowledged that joining Microsoft seemed like the best path at the time but is now looking forward to returning to OpenAI and building on their strong partnership with Microsoft.
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. when i decided to join msft on sun evening, it was clear that was the best path for me and the team. with the new board and w satya’s support, i’m…
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 22, 2023
Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, who expressed disappointment with the previous board’s decision, welcomed the changes and emphasized the essential role Altman, Brockman, and the OAI leadership team will play in ensuring OpenAI’s continued success. Nadella pledged Microsoft’s commitment to building on their partnership and delivering the value of the next generation of AI to customers and partners.
We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board. We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance. Sam, Greg, and I have talked and agreed they have a key role to play along with the OAI leadership team in ensuring… https://t.co/djO6Fuz6t9
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 22, 2023
The events of the past week had sparked public scrutiny and frustration, with some investors exploring the possibility of legal action against the previous OpenAI board. Joshua Kushner, founder of Thrive Capital, a supporter of OpenAI, praised Altman and Brockman’s commitment to the company’s integrity and leadership, stating that OpenAI has the “potential to be one of the most consequential companies in the history of computing.”
Emmett Shear, the former Twitch CEO who served as interim leader of OpenAI during this period, expressed satisfaction with the new decision, stating, “This was the pathway that maximized safety alongside doing right by all stakeholders involved. I’m glad to have been a part of the solution.”
In conclusion, Sam Altman’s return and the restructuring of OpenAI’s board signal a turning point for the AI startup, paving the way for stability, collaboration, and continued innovation in the field of artificial intelligence.
Meanwhile, if you wish to backtrack on this 5-days intense drama and catch up on it, make sure to check out our articles on how OpenAI CEO Sam Altman joined Microsoft after getting fired on Monday and how Sam Altman still wanted to be OpenAI’s CEO, Nadella agreed just Yesterday.
Featured image credit: Twitter