The OpenAI board has been subjected to intense criticism over its decision to remove Sam Altman, which came as a surprise to both investors and Altman himself
A day after ousting Sam Altman as its CEO, ChatGPT maker OpenAI board is in discussions with him to return to the company as its CEO, The Verge reported. The 38-year-old, who was suddenly fired by the board on November 17 with no notice, is “ambivalent” about coming back and would want significant governance changes, the reports stated.
A cryptic post by Altman on X has further fanned speculations of him returning to the board as CEO. “I love the OpenAI team so much,” he wrote.
This also comes amid reports of OpenAI’s biggest investors pressing the company to reinstate Sam Altman as the CEO.
Microsoft Corp, the startup’s biggest backer with more than $10 billion at stake, is working with investors, including Thrive Capital and Tiger Global Management to bring back Altman, according to anonymous sources quoted by Bloomberg.
As part of the effort to reinstate the CEO, investors are also pressing for the replacement of the current board, reports stated. The directors have considered stepping down, though they’re currently balking at such a move.
Investors are pushing for the present board to be replaced in addition to the campaign to get the CEO back, the individuals added. The sources claimed that although the directors had thought about stepping down, they are now resisting the idea. Final plans have not been wrapped up, and the situation is still fluid. Investors are looking at a list of potential new directors in the event that the board steps down. Bret Taylor, a former Salesforce Inc co-CEO, is one such candidate.
According to the sources, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has spoken with Altman and promised to help him with his next moves. Those with knowledge of the matter claim that Nadella was taken aback by the board’s decision, reported Bloomberg.
Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap stated in a statement to OpenAI employees on November 18 that Altman’s termination “was not made in response to malfeasance” or the business’s safety or financial procedures.
Lightcap stated, “This was a breakdown in communication between Sam and the board,” but Microsoft “remains fully committed” to being an investor.
The OpenAI board has been subjected to intense criticism over its decision to remove Altman, which came as a surprise to both investors and Altman himself. Over the years he pushed hard to change the company from a nonprofit to a commercially successful business and was the driving force behind new tools that have revolutionised the way people complete tasks from homework to coding. His ouster did not sit well with the firms that backed OpenAI.
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