The high-speed saga at OpenAI may not be over yet.
Bloomberg News, citing sources close to the matter, reported on Tuesday that ousted CEO Sam Altman is in talks to return to the artificial intelligence startup as a director on a transitional board. Mere hours later (and very late on Tuesday/early on Wednesday), OpenAI announced Altman has been reinstated as CEO.
In the earlier report, sources also told Bloomberg News that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT), a key backer of the AI startup, is discussing some changes in governance that it intends to ask from the board. These changes may involve expanding the board, which was only made up of four people, and upping the experience level required for its members.
Microsoft and OpenAI have yet to confirm this report but the AI startup announced a “new initial board,” potentially indicating that more members will be added. This new initial board is made up of Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and the only current director, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo. Taylor will be the chairman of this new board.
The Bloomberg News report cited D’Angelo as the member of the board who was in talks with Altman for his return. Notably absent from the remade board is former member Ilya Sutskever, the startup’s co-founder and chief scientist who earlier posted on X that he deeply regrets his “participation in the board’s actions.”
Prior to Altman’s reinstatement, interim CEO Emmett Shear, who was appointed on Monday, reportedly told people close to the company about his intention to step down if the board fails to transparently communicate the rationale behind Altman’s removal.
The initial move to dismiss Altman prompted a significant backlash within the company, with over 700 employees threatening to resign unless the board resigned and Altman, along with co-founder Greg Brockman, was reinstated.
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