Sam Altman Set to Return as OpenAI CEO After Less Than One Week

Sam Altman
Sam Altman

After being controversially fired from his post last Friday, Sam Altman is now set to return as CEO of OpenAI.

In a stunning four days, the board who attempted to get rid of Altman have ultimately lost out as they are now mostly being replaced.

According to Axios, the new board will include former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers. Quora co-founder Adam D’Angelo will be the only previous board member to keep his position.

But it means OpenAI’s chief scientist Ilya Sutskever will leave the board along with Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner.

Altman’s OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman who left in protest of Altman’s sacking will also return to 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,” OpenAI said in a statement late on Tuesday evening.

“We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this.”

As per The Verge, the job of the new board will be to expand themselves up to nine people. Microsoft, which has invested billions into OpenAI, wants a seat and so does Altman himself.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said earlier this week that he doesn’t want any more “surprises.”

The new agreement in place at OpenAI will see an independent investigation into why the old board decided to sack Altman in the first place and shake up the tech world in dramatic fashion.

As yet, the only official explanation given by the previous board as to why they sacked Altman was that he was not “consistently candid in his communications.”

On Sunday, it was announced that Altman would be joining Microsoft to be a CEO and lead a “new advanced AI research team.”

But the following day, an open letter signed by the vast majority of OpenAI’s 750+ employees demanding that the company board resign or they would quit en-masse seemingly made the board’s position untenable.

Even Sutskever, who had been involved in ousting Altman, signed the letter.

OpenAI announced a new interim CEO at the start of this week — Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear. According to reports, staff refused to meet with the new boss.

Debate still rages as to why exactly this all happened, OpenAI is arguably the most cutting-edge tech company in the whole world impressing the market with advanced artificial intelligence tools, namely ChatGPT and DALL-E.

Speculation is rife that the board of OpenAI, a company that was founded as a nonprofit with the mission of creating advanced AI in a way that benefits humanity, thought that OpenAI’s tech and commercialization were being deployed too quickly.

Despite this, Altan seems to have won out and OpenAI will continue its course.