Is this the end of the OpenAI/Sam Altman saga which started on Friday? After several reversals, the creator of ChatGPT announced, in a publication on X (former Twitter), the return of Sam Altman to the position of CEO. In this publication, OpenAI indicates that it has reached an agreement in principle for the return of Sam Altman at the head of the company.
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
As TechCrunch explains, OpenAI will form a new board of directors. Bret Taylor, former CEO of Salesforce, Larry Summers, former US Treasury Secretary, and Adam D'Angelo, founder of Quora, will serve on the new board. As a reminder, the former board of directors of OpenAI had been very criticized, since it was the one who made the decision to dismiss Sam Altman.
For his part, the main interested party already reacted. “I love OpenAI, and everything I've done over the past few days has helped keep this team and its mission together. When I decided to join Microsoft on Sunday evening, it was clear that it was the best path for me and the team. With the new board of directors and the support of Satya (editor's note, the boss of Microsoft), I look forward to returning to OpenAI and building on our strong partnership with Microsoft”, he wrote .
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
Towards a return to normal for OpenAI?
The return of Sam Altman at the head of OpenAI should finally put an end to the chaos generated by his dismissal within the company. As a reminder, it was on November 17 that the former OpenAI board of directors announced the dismissal of Sam Altman. According to this board, Altman “was not always forthright in his communications with the board, which hindered his ability to carry out his responsibilities.”
Over the weekend, many rumors circulated, including rumors about a possible return of Sam Altman. Ultimately, the former board confirmed the dismissal of the CEO, appointing a new interim CEO. For his part, Sam Altman was recruited by Microsoft to become the new “CEO” of an artificial intelligence laboratory.
And today, we have a new turnaround, with this announcement of the return of Sam Altman as CEO, and the creation of a new board of directors for OpenAI. It is important to note that during this saga, employees threatened to leave OpenAI if Sam Altman does not return to his position as CEO.
A situation that suits Microsoft
Obviously , we cannot talk about the OpenAI saga without mentioning Microsoft. Indeed, the Redmond firm is a big investor in OpenAI, and it has an agreement with the company to exploit its models, such as ChatGPT, GPT-4 or DALL-E 3. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has in fact already reacted.
“We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI Board of Directors. We believe this is an essential first step on the path to more stable, better informed and more effective governance,” he wrote.
Despite investing several billion dollars in OpenAI, Microsoft was only informed of Sam Altman's dismissal at the last minute. Recently, Nadella also criticized the former board of directors of OpenAI, in an interview with Bloomberg. “This idea that changes are happening without awareness is not good, and we will certainly ensure that some of the necessary changes happen,” he said.
Rumors have also suggested that OpenAI investors have already considered taking the former board of directors to court. Until now, it is unclear what exactly prompted this former board of directors to fire Sam Altman. But a rumor suggests a conflict between the CEO and Helen Toner, an artificial intelligence researcher who was also a member of this board.
- Sam Altman will to resume his position as CEO of OpenAI
- OpenAI will also have a new board of directors
- Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, welcomes this announcement