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Sam Altman Returns as OpenAI’s CEO

Sam Altman has been reinstated as OpenAI's CEO after a swift campaign by allies, employees, and investors, leading to significant board changes and Microsoft's support.

Sam Altman has returned as CEO of OpenAI after pressure from employees.
Credit: 2023 TY Lim/Shutterstock

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – In a surprising reversal of events, Sam Altman has been reinstated as the Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI, marking the end of a tumultuous period for the artificial intelligence company. The decision follows a swift and determined campaign led by Altman's allies, employees, and investors, successfully overturning his removal by the board just last week.


The Board Overhaul


OpenAI's board of directors is undergoing a significant transformation, with several members opposing Altman being replaced. Adam D’Angelo, the CEO of Quora, remains the only existing member. The restructuring aims to fortify OpenAI's leadership and align with its core mission. Altman expressed his commitment, 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."

Microsoft, the major investor in OpenAI, has expressed support for these changes. Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s CEO, emphasized the importance of a stable and effective governance structure. The new board includes industry leaders like Bret Taylor, former co-CEO of Salesforce, and Lawrence Summers, former Treasury secretary, with D’Angelo leading as board chairman.


The Path Forward


Altman looks forward to reinforcing OpenAI’s partnership with Microsoft, indicating a positive outlook for the company’s future. The initial board changes may expand, reflecting a commitment to a fresh start. Negotiations, led by D’Angelo, paved the way for Altman’s return, with concessions sought, including an independent investigation into his leadership.


Amidst the uncertainty, over 700 OpenAI employees signed a letter expressing their intention to walk out if Altman wasn't reinstated. Thrive Capital, leading a funding offer valuing OpenAI at over $80 billion, affirmed its continued partnership with the company. The developments mark a collective effort to steer OpenAI back on course, with Altman's return signaling a positive shift in its trajectory.


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