The AI research firm is restoring Altman as CEO after his sacking last week threatened a mass exodus from the company.
The co-founder of a leading US artificial intelligence firm is making a comeback to the company that terminated him as CEO last week, the latest twist in a week-long drama over its leadership.
OpenAI, which owns the popular chatbot ChatGPT, announced late on Tuesday on the social media platform X that it had reached “an agreement in principle” to bring back tech entrepreneur Sam Altman 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.
We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this.
— OpenAI (@OpenAI) November 22, 2023
It also said it had reached a consensus on a “new initial board,” with members including former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo.
Altman wrote on X he was “looking forward to returning to OpenAI, and building on our strong partnership with (Microsoft)”.
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…
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 22, 2023
OpenAI’s board sacked Altman last week offering few reasons for the decision. A storm soon broke within the company. Hundreds of staff threatened to quit in solidarity with Altman and investors put pressure on the company to restore calm.
Microsoft, which has invested billions in OpenAI and has rights to its technology, announced it would hire Atlman to run a new artificial intelligence research team and welcomed any defecting OpenAI employees to switch over with him.
However, Altman said that he has the support of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to return as OpenAI’s CEO under a new leadership structure.
Nadella welcomed the changes to OpenAI after the firm announced Altman’s return and the new initial board.
“We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance,” Nadella wrote on X.
We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board. We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance. Sam, Greg, and I have talked and agreed they have a key role to play along with the OAI leadership team in ensuring… https://t.co/djO6Fuz6t9
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 22, 2023
OpenAI’s flagship product is ChatGPT, an advanced language model-based chatbot that can generate articles, essays, jokes and even poetry in response to prompts.
Released to the public in November 2022, ChatGPT quickly gained global appeal, reaching more than 100 million monthly users in less than a year.