OpenAI has officially announced the return of Sam Altman as CEO. This is the expected conclusion to the scandalous story that has been going on since last Friday and resulted in the support of almost all OpenAI employees for Altman. They even wrote an open letter to the board threatening to move to Microsoft. This step, as well as the position of investors, forced the company’s board of directors to give in, and now its composition will be significantly renewed.
“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,” the OpenAI statement says.
Thus, only Adam D’Angelo, the CEO of Quora, will remain from the previous board that dismissed Altman. The new chairman of OpenAI’s board of directors, Bret Taylor, is an American programmer and entrepreneur who is known for having worked on Google Maps, being the CTO of Facebook, chairman of Twitter before it was acquired by Elon Musk, and co-executive director of Salesforce. Larry Summers is a well-known American economist and director of the National Economic Council.
In the end, Altman emerged victorious in this story, gaining widespread support after the board of directors suddenly decided to dismiss him. As expected, Microsoft’s move to invite Altman and other OpenAI employees back to work was largely calculated to make the board give in at the risk of losing almost all of its staff. Altman has already commented on his return and thanked Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella for his support.
“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 looking forward to returning to openai, and building on our strong partnership with msft,” Altman wrote.
Now, OpenAI will inevitably undergo some reorganization, and it is unlikely that Altman and investors will want to go through this experience again, but the company should return to normal operations fairly quickly.