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Sam Altman Back at OpenAI as CEO After Days of Drama

OpenAI agrees to Altman returning to save the group from collapse; former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor and former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers will join the new board

AI expert Sam Altman has urged South Korea to focus on chips needed for the AI boom.
Sam Altman, CEO of Microsoft-backed OpenAI and ChatGPT creator. This Reuters image shows him speaking at Tel Aviv University in June 2023.


Faced with an open revolt from most of its employees, OpenAI surprised no-one on Tuesday when it said the company had reached an agreement for Sam Altman to return as CEO.

The news came days after Altman was sacked by the board and ended frenzied discussions about the future of the startup at the centre of the artificial intelligence boom.

In addition to Altman’s return, the company 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 will 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.”


ALSO SEE: OpenAI Investors Weigh Legal Options Amid Fears Of Collapse


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 startup, 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 over the weekend by vowing to hire him and Greg Brockman, president of the startup.

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



Nearly all of 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 with additional editing by Jim Pollard




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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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