Sam Altman’s unexpected move to Microsoft following his termination from OpenAI may not be set in stone. According to sources, Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman are open to returning to OpenAI if the board members who fired Altman are willing to step aside.
The recent announcement of a mass exodus of nearly all OpenAI employees, including board member and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, has intensified the pressure on the remaining board members. At least two out of the three non-deposed board members need to change their stance for Altman’s return to materialize.
Altman, Brockman, and OpenAI’s investors are actively seeking a graceful resolution with the board, as confirmed by an individual familiar with the matter. The recent hiring announcement by Microsoft is seen as a temporary solution to maintain stability before the market opens on Monday.
Shortly after the news of Altman’s possible return broke, he posted on X stating that the goal is to continue working together in some capacity, indicating that the fight is far from over. Microsoft, on the other hand, has declined to comment on the matter.
Following Altman’s unexpected dismissal, negotiations between him and the board reached an impasse. While OpenAI’s management team and investors were considering potential candidates to replace the board for Altman’s reinstatement, the board was conducting its own CEO search. Eventually, Emmett Shear, the co-founder of Twitch, was announced as the new CEO, seemingly closing the door on Altman’s return.
A power struggle has ensued within OpenAI since Friday, with the majority of employees siding against the three-person board that ousted Altman. OpenAI employees at the San Francisco headquarters refused to attend an emergency meeting with the new CEO, further escalating tensions. However, there have been recent developments, with Sutskever now supporting Altman and signing an open letter calling for the resignation of the board.
As the situation unfolds, OpenAI employees are working diligently to maintain service stability and preserve the company’s operations. The remaining board members who oppose Altman are Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora, Tasha McCauley, former CEO of GeoSim Systems, and Helen Toner, the director of strategy at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
1. Can Sam Altman return to OpenAI?
Yes, Altman is open to returning to OpenAI if the board members who fired him step aside and allow his reinstatement.
2. What impact has the mass exodus of OpenAI employees had?
The departure of numerous OpenAI employees, including key figures like Ilya Sutskever, has put immense pressure on the board. At least two of the remaining three board members must change their position for Altman’s return to be possible.
3. How has Microsoft reacted to Altman’s potential return?
Microsoft has not provided any official comments or statements regarding Altman’s possible return to OpenAI.
4. Who are the remaining board members at OpenAI?
The remaining board members are Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora, Tasha McCauley, former CEO of GeoSim Systems, and Helen Toner, the director of strategy at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology.