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Sam Altman to return as OpenAI CEO with new board

Sam Altman says he's looking forward to returning to OpenAI.

Sam Altman says he's looking forward to returning to OpenAI. Photo: TND/Getty/OpenAI/Microsoft

OpenAI has reached an agreement for Sam Altman to return as CEO days after his ouster, capping frenzied discussions about the future of the startup at the centre of the artificial intelligence boom.

As well as Altman’s return, the maker of ChatGPT agreed in principle to partly reconstitute the board of directors that had dismissed him.

Former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor and former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers would join Quora CEO and current director Adam D’Angelo, OpenAI said.

Sam Altman said in a post on X: “i’m looking forward to returning to openai.”

His return caps a tumultuous weekend that saw Altman agree to move to OpenAI’s financial backer Microsoft to head a new research team there.

That followed a rejection by OpenAI’s board of his first attempt to return to the start-up, on Sunday, by naming ex-Twitch boss Emmett Shear as interim CEO.

In a post on X, Shear celebrated the late-night outcome on Tuesday, which he said followed “~72 very intense hours of work”.

Altman’s dismissal had brought uncertainty for both OpenAI and Microsoft, which had moved quickly to control damage at the weekend by vowing to hire him and Greg Brockman, president of the start-up.

Brockman, who had quit after Altman was ousted, said in a post on X that he was “getting back to coding tonight”.

Nearly all OpenAI’s more than 700-strong staff on Monday had threatened to leave unless the board stepped down and reinstated Altman and Brockman, according to a letter reviewed by Reuters.

In a statement on X, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella welcomed the changes to OpenAI’s board.

“We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance,” he said.

-Reuters

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