Computer scientist Sam Altman has returned to be CEO of OpenAI, the production company behind ChatGPT, after a confusing back-and-forth in recent days. The executive reached an agreement that provides for the formation of a new board of directors.
We may not yet know all the details of these moves. For now, it is confirmed that Sam Altman will return to head the organization dedicated to artificial intelligence. He posted on the social network X (formerly Twitter) that he “loves OpenAI” and that everything he has done in recent days has been aimed at keeping the team and its purpose together.
In a nutshell, here’s what happened:
-11/17: Sam Altman was fired as CEO by the then board of directors, due to alleged communication problems with the other leadership of the organization.
-11/20: Microsoft has closed the hiring of Sam Altman to lead a team of scientists dedicated to artificial intelligence. OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman would also join the Satya Nadella-led company.
Also on 11/20: Several OpenAI employees threatened to conduct a collective resignation. They criticized the bad faith of the old board of directors and showed support for Sam Altman.
-11/21: Late in the evening, OpenAI reported that its (ex?) chief executive is back in the role of CEO. The statement on X said an “initial agreement” had been made that provided for the formation of a new board. “We are collaborating to come up with the final details. Thank you for your patience throughout this,” the company said.
OpenAI’s Board Changes
OpenAI’s new lineup appears to have the backing of Microsoft, its main partner in providing cloud infrastructure. Satya Nadella stated on X that he is “encouraged by the changes to OpenAI’s board.” He also said that initial steps had been taken towards more “stable, well-informed and effective” governance.
Initially, the new board will be made up of Brett Taylor, Larry Summers and Adam D’Angelo. The latter executive is the only remaining member of the group that approved Altman’s resignation and will have the role of representing the views of the former board.
OpenAI’s board is expected to be expanded to nine members in the future. With this, Microsoft should gain a seat in the group due to the partnership and the extensive investment made in the AI company.
The deal for Altman’s return still involves an investigation into the executive’s dismissal. Following the proposal of then-interim CEO Emmett Shear, the audit of the case will be carried out by an independent law firm.