Sam Altman is returning to OpenAI as CEO following removal
After days of chaos, ChatGPT creator OpenAI has reached an agreement to see former CEO Sam Altman return to the company
Recent days have seen the tech world thrown into chaos, with OpenAI’s board of directors ousting cofounder and CEO Sam Altman. This move saw other OpenAI leaders leave the company in protest, like Greg Brockman. A large number of employees also posted “OpenAI is nothing without its people”, signalling that they would resign if Sam Altman was not reinstated as CEO.
OpenAI is one of the world’s leading AI companies. OpenAI is the company behind ChatGPT, the AI chatbot, and is one of the companies behind the today’s AI revolution. The popularity of ChatGPT and other AI workloads is one of the main reasons why Nvidia’s AI business has soared in recent years.
Over the weekend, Alman was approached by Microsoft, a major partner of OpenAI, and offered him a leadership position within Microsoft’s AI unit. Greg Brockman was also offered a position, and it looked like Microsoft were ready to hire any employee that left OpenAI. This move would have seen Microsoft effectively acquire all of OpenAI’s talent without a buyout. Before Microsoft could finalise these plans, OpenAI made the following announcement on X.
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.
(Greg Brockman and Sam Altman)
If Sam Altman didn’t return as CEO, OpenAI was over
Both Sam Altman and Greg Brockman have confirmed that they will be returning to OpenAI. Altman has stated that he is returning to OpenAI with “Satya’s support”. Satya Nadella is the CEO of Microsoft. Altman also confirmed that OpenAI will have a new board of directors.
Had OpenAI not reinstated Altman, the company would likely have imploded. Over 95% of employees threatened to leave the company in protest. Microsoft were more than willing to hire that talent, which meant that OpenAI could not ignore this threat. While it remains unclear why Sam Altman was ousted in the first place, the cause was OpenAI’s unusual corporate structure. These issues will be addressed by OpenAI’s new board of directors. This new board is unlikely to include any of the former members who ousted Altman initially.
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