OpenAI Reinstates Sam Altman as CEO After Boardroom Drama Threatens Company's Future
In a stunning turn of events, OpenAI has reinstated co-founder Sam Altman as CEO just five days after abruptly firing him. The move comes as the AI safety nonprofit worked to regain stability following a tumultuous week that cast its leadership and future into doubt.
Altman will return to steer the company under a new interim board chaired by Bret Taylor, former co-CEO of Salesforce. Joining Taylor are Larry Summers, the ex-U.S. Treasury Secretary, and existing director Adam D’Angelo, co-founder and CEO of Quora. They will oversee appointing a permanent 9-member governing body committed to transparency.
The reversal stems from pressure applied as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella voiced frustration over the lack of notice given about Altman's termination. OpenAI employees also threatened to resign en masse to follow Altman to Microsoft. New interim CEO Emmett Shear warned of stepping down, saying Altman's ousting was "handled very badly."
Negotiations to reinstate Altman reportedly accelerated yesterday as Shear's threat sparked urgency. Microsoft remains committed to supporting OpenAI's important work.
The timeline saw Altman fired last Friday, then Greg Brockman resign in protest. By Monday, nearly all staff demanded Altman's return or they would leave for his new Microsoft division. As negotiations continued, OpenAI's future appeared in doubt.
Altman's reinstatement, with Microsoft's backing, provides stability. The new board now focuses on guidelines preventing such disruptive shakeups, ensuring AI's benefits are shared by all.
After a wild week, OpenAI averts potential collapse by bringing back its original leader.