Sam Altman is back as CEO of OpenAI

SAN FRANCISCO — Sam Altman, who was fired Friday from OpenAI, the maker of ChatGBT, will return as CEO, ending a boardroom drama that has reshaped Silicon Valley and exposed a power struggle over who controls the future. Artificial intelligence.

The company will have an initial team that includes Brett Taylor, former head of the Twitter team, Elon Musk, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and Quora CEO and board member Adam D’Angelo. The members who voted to oust Altman said in a post on the OpenAI social media platform X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam to return to OpenAI as CEO,” the statement said. “We are working together to find the details. Thank you very much for your patience through this,” he said.

Altman will not have a seat on the new board, and the board has agreed to an independent investigation that will examine all aspects of recent events, including Altman’s role, according to a person familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the matter. Important things. On Friday, OpenAI said Altman had not been candid in its discussions with the team, but offered no additional reasons for firing him.

The three-member initial committee has appointed a nine-member formal committee, another person familiar with the matter said. The three other board members who ousted Altman along with D’Angelo, Ilya Sutzkever, Helen Donner and Tasha McCauley, will also leave the group, the person said. Emmett Shear, who initially replaced Altman as interim CEO, will also leave the company, this person said.

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Greg Brockman, who left in solidarity with Altman on Friday, is also returning to the company, he said at X.

A spokesperson for OpenAI declined to comment further.

“I love OpenAI, and everything I’ve done over the past few days has been in service of keeping this group and its work together,” Altman said at X.

Altman’s return puts a cap on nearly a week of turmoil at the AI ​​company. His firing shocked much of the tech industry, including OpenAI’s own investors and employees, who campaigned for his recall. On Sunday night, Altman agreed to join Microsoft, but the next day, he and Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella signaled that they would be open to returning to OpenAI. On Monday, nearly 770 of the company’s employees signed a letter saying they would quit if he was not reinstated.

“When I decided to join [Microsoft] By sun evening, it was clear to me and the team that that was the best route. With new board and [with] With Satya’s support, I look forward to returning to OpenAI and building a strong partnership with us. [Microsoft]Altman said in X.

The drama surrounding Altman’s sudden ouster at OpenAI has exposed a deep divide within the company over who should control its future. OpenAI began as a nonprofit research lab in 2015, but in recent years, under Altman’s leadership, has invested billions of dollars from tech giant Microsoft and venture capitalists to develop consumer products. Outside critics and some employees worried that the company had abandoned its mission and behaved like a big tech company. It is primarily about providing a more transparent, democratic alternative to Big Tech.

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Altman’s earnings will be greeted with relief by investors, clients and employees who fear boardroom drama could lead to the company’s implosion. If that had happened, it would have left a void at the heart of the AI ​​industry, opening the window for competitors like Google and AI start-up Anthropic to pick up the pace.

Microsoft, which is OpenAI’s largest investor, uses its technology in its own AI products, and will benefit from a confirmed OpenAI and Altman’s revenue.

“We are encouraged by the changes made on the OpenAI board. We believe this is an essential first step on the path to more sustainable, informed and effective governance,” Nadella said in a statement at X. “We look forward to building on our strong partnership and delivering value to this next generation. of AI to our customers and partners.

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