May 19, 2024

Sam Altman Returns as CEO of OpenAI with Microsoft's Backing

In a surprising twist of events, Sam Altman is set to return as the CEO of OpenAI just days after his abrupt removal from the position.

This announcement made early on Wednesday, was accompanied by a change in the leadership structure of the tech company. A new board has been formulated, comprising Adam D’Angelo, Larry Summers, and Bret Taylor as Chair.

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.Sam Altman

Earlier, Altman’s decision to join Microsoft after being ousted from OpenAI seemed to be the best course of action for the team. However, he received adequate support from Satya Nadella and the new board and eventually returned to OpenAI while boosting his bonds with Microsoft.

Here’s What the Reconstructed Board Looks Like

The reconstituted board following the CEO’s return introduced some new faces, where only Adam D’Angelo served the company in the past. The new lineup includes Bret Taylor, former co-CEO of Salesforce, and Larry Summers, former US Treasury Secretary.

Although Altman joined the new AI lab at Microsoft immediately after his dismissal from OpenAI, he eventually made a U-turn to return to the board.

This shift in the company’s leadership signifies a major move, given that the ones who had planned the coup to remove Altman have been ousted.

Altman’s assurance of having “Satya’s support” suggests that Microsoft is already aware of the coup and supports Altman’s return to the company.

Given that Microsoft has a 49% stake in OpenAI, the relationship between Nadella and Altman looks healthy.

Nadella tweeted on Wednesday, expressing his encouragement for the changes in the board of OpenAI, without commending directly on Altman’s return.

The recent turn of events over the last week resulted in the dismissal of Emmett Shear, the newly appointed CEO of OpenAI. Along with Nadella, he, too, was unaware of the reasons leading to the initial firing of Altman.

New Members On OpenAI’s Board

The latest development over the removal and return of Sam Altman as the CEO of OpenAI happens to be one of the most intriguing aspects of tech history. While the details of his return are still being ironed out, more developments might be on the cards.

Pooling up a diverse skill set at its leadership, OpenAI is likely to get a strategic direction in the coming weeks.

Among the new members on board, Bret Taylor is a seasoned entrepreneur and computer programmer, while Larry Summers is a celebrated economist and former US Treasury Secretary.

Besides being the founder of Quora, Adam D’Angelo is also a distinguished figure in the tech industry.

The tech community closely watches as Altman braces up to resume his leadership role at OpenAI. His comeback raises questions about the internal functions of OpenAI and reflects its strong bond with Microsoft.

The collaboration between these key players is likely to define the growth trajectory of OpenAI and its groundbreaking generative AI technology.


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