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Sam Altman's ouster to reinstatement: The chaos at OpenAI explained in 5 points

Sam Altman, who was removed from his position as the CEO at OpenAI on Nov 17, is officially rejoining the AI company. The news was officially out when the board lead changed and the company posted the same on their official X page. Here is everything you need to know

Written By: Saumya Nigam @snigam04 New Delhi Published on: November 22, 2023 12:58 IST
Sam Altman, OpenAI
Image Source : FILE Sam Altman joins back OpenAI

Sam Altman finally returned to OpenAI as the CEO on Wednesday, after five days of chaos over the company's move to remove him from the position. After a couple of days of being in the buzz, Altman is now set to recommence his position as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The decision was made with the recent updation on the board which includes Bret Taylor, who now leads the board and other members including Adam D'Angelo and Larry Summers. The news got official via a statement made by OpenAI on X.

OpenAI's official announcement

On X, an official statement which surfaced on OpenAI’s official page (on 22 November) writes, “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. We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this."

What will happen to Emmett Shear?

It was on Monday (20 November) when OpenAI announced Emmett Shear (ex-Twitch head) as the interim CEO of the AI company. And as the CEO is back on board, we believe his position will dissolve from here.

Sam Altman's negotiation terms

As per Bloomberg’s report, after being pulled down by the board of OpenAI on Friday (17 November) due to the rising conflict regarding the speed of AI development and monetization, Sam got engaged in negotiating with the company for his return.

However, the report stated that the discussion did not turn fruitful as on Sunday (19 November), Altman pushed the current board members to resign.

Sam Altman gets the support of Satya Nadella

Sam said that he has the support of Satya Nadella, who is the CEO of Microsoft, for returning to OpenAI.

In the X (formerly known as Twitter) Altman wrote, “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."

Satya Nadella, on the other hand, reposted it on his page by quoting, “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."

He further added, “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."

The background story of Sam Altman and OpenAI (started on 17 November 2023)

  1. It was on Friday when the OpenAI board decided to remove Sam Altman as the CEO, the reason being his lack of communication and unavailability.
  2. As per the board members, he was not consistently candid in his communications and was blamed for hindering his responsibilities. 
  3. Later, Sam posted about his love towards OpenAI and the team he was working with, and later he posted a picture from the OpenAI office, after being pulled down as the CEO of the AI company. In the X post, he shared a picture with a visitor's tag card on his neck, and captioned it- " first and last time i ever wear one of these".

  4. When OpenAI announced Mira Brad as the interim CEO, Sam posted on X, " the openai leadership team, particularly mira brad and jason but really all of them, have been doing an incredible job through this that will be in the history books. incredibly proud of them."
  5. It was Satya Nadella, who supported Sam Altman, and also offered a position to him in Microsoft and expressed his happiness with the decision of the board. In Microsoft's blog post, he wrote," We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board. We believe this is the 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."

 

 

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