Sam Altman to Return as OpenAI CEO With a New Board in Tow Prior to reinstating the 38-year-old as the CEO, OpenAI had a change in leadership twice, once with Mira Murati being named the interim CEO, and later with Emmett Shear

By Paromita Gupta

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A lot went down over the weekend in the artificial intelligence ecosystem. Sam Altman was reported to have been removed as OpenAI's CEO on November 17. He was back to the chair on November 22.

"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," tweeted Altman on Tuesday morning as a response to him returning to the organisation.

While the reasons behind the leadership change are yet to be known, the company shared that the board felt he "was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI."

Prior to reinstating the 38-year-old as the CEO, OpenAI had a change in leadership twice, once with Mira Murati being named the interim CEO, and later with Emmett Shear. Greg Brockman, the President of OpenAI wrote "Last night, Sam got a text from Ilya asking to talk at noon Friday. Sam joined a Google Meet and the whole board, except Greg, was there. Ilya told Sam he was being fired and that the news was going out very soon." He also announced he'd quit the organisation.

Meanwhile, Satya Nadella and Microsoft officially announced that Altman and Brockman would be joining the tech giant and will be heading a new AI team.

"We're extremely excited to share the news that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, together with colleagues, will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team," shared Nadella on X.

However, the sacking of Altman did not sit well with 500+ OpenAI staff. A member close to the developments shared that "747 employees out of 770 had called for the board to quit."

The staff unity threatened a mass IT exodus for OpenAI. "The process through which you terminated Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and company," the letter reads.

"Your conduct has made it clear you did not have the competence to oversee OpenAI," it added.

Following a pressured-intense discussion, OpenAI announced Altman to return as CEO.

"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," announced OpenAI. Brockman is also returning as President.

The organisation, meanwhile, is in the middle of figuring out the final details of it.

Paromita Gupta

Features Writer with Entrepreneur India

Covering news and trends in AI and Metaverse segments. An avid book reader running her personal blog on the side. You may reach me at paromita@entrepreneurindia.com. 

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