Five Days Of Chaos Over? Sam Altman Returns As OpenAI CEO

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Nov 22, 2023 - 04:22 PM

Five days of chaos at the world's most valuable startup appears to have ended. OpenAI announced on social media platform X early Wednesday morning that Sam Altman will return as CEO, along with an overhaul of the company's board. 

"We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO," OpenAI posted on X around 0100 ET. Also, a shakeup of the board was announced: "A new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo." 

Greg Brockman, OpenAI's former president, is back. 

Altman posted on X, "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." 

The decision to bring Altman back and reshuffle the board will appease the plus 700 employees who signed a letter saying they might quit and join OpenAI's biggest shareholder, Microsoft unless all directors resign and Altman is reinstated.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella supported the move: "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 OAI continues to thrive and build on its mission. We look forward to building on our strong partnership and delivering the value of this next generation of AI to our customers and partners."

However, the future of the former Twitch executive Emmett Shear, appointed as OpenAI's CEO last weekend, remains unclear. 

Altman phoned a New York Times reporter, saying employees were celebrating his return. Last Friday, investors were blindsided by the board's removal of Altman. 

Commenting on Altman's return, Elon Musk responded to X user Whole Mars Catalog by saying, "OpenAI being (semi) independent is probably better for the world than merging with Microsoft. Less concentration of power." 

Hopefully there will be no more dizzying developments for now.