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Less than a week after the Board Fired him, OpenAI Reappoints Sam Altman to Lead the Company

After being abruptly fired on Friday afternoon, Sam Altman is now back in his role as CEO of OpenAI.

Ilya Sutskever, a co-founder and board member of OpenAI, was among the hundreds of workers who signed a letter following his dismissal requesting that the remaining board members step down or else they would leave.

Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, announced on Monday that Altman and other OpenAI members would be joining to form a “new advanced AI research team.”

The startup OpenAI announced early on Wednesday morning on X, formerly known as Twitter, that Sam Altman will be returning to his role as CEO. The action was taken in response to intense pressure from the board’s investors and staff, who removed him less than a week ago.

The Microsoft-backed startup OpenAI announced that Bret Taylor, a former co-CEO of Salesforce, and Larry Summers, a former Treasury Secretary, will join the board. Taylor will serve as chair. The CEO and co-founder of the question-and-answer startup Quora, Adam D’Angelo, will continue to serve on the board.

We are working together to resolve the specifics. In the X post, OpenAI expressed gratitude for the patience shown throughout.

Hundreds of workers, including co-founder and board member Ilya Sutskever, signed a letter on Monday threatening to leave Microsoft to work with Altman if the board didn’t step down and reinstate him.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced on Monday in an X post that Altman and his co-founder Greg Brockman will be joining the company to establish a new AI lab.

That came after OpenAI announced late on Sunday that Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Twitch, had been appointed as Altman’s temporary replacement. The OpenAI technology chief Mira Murati was initially supposed to take on that role, but she quickly joined the chorus of workers demanding Altman’s return.

Altman posted on X, saying, “With the new board and with satya’s support, i’m looking forward to returning to openai, and building on our strong partnership with msft.”

Nadella applauded changes OpenAI has made to its board in his X post.

Nadella stated, “We think this is a first crucial step on a path to more stable, knowledgeable, and effective governance.” After discussing it, Sam, Greg, and I decided that they, along with the OAI leadership team, must play a crucial part in ensuring that OAI prospers and advances its goals. We are eager to strengthen our close collaboration and provide our clients and partners with the benefits of this upcoming AI generation.

After it was made public on Saturday that several prominent investors, including Microsoft, Tiger Global, Thrive Capital, and Sequoia Capital, were attempting to overturn the board’s ruling from the previous day, it looked as though Altman might be swiftly reinstated. Those businesses were taken aback by the decision because none of them held board seats.

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