The story of the decade: Sam Altman returns as CEO to OpenAI

In Hollywood, they should start approving the script for this blockbuster film.

The story of the decade: Sam Altman returns as CEO to OpenAI
Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

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On Friday, he was kicked to the curb. On Sunday, Microsoft announced they hired him as the head of their AI department. On Monday, a rebellion in favor of him erupted at OpenAI. Tuesday night, he was reinstated as CEO. Sam Altman, the survivor.


As reported early this morning by The New York Times, Sam Altman has been reinstated as the Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI, successfully reversing his removal by the company’s board last week following a campaign led by his allies, employees, and investors, as reported by the company.

The board will be reformed without several members who had opposed Sam Altman. In other words, those who caused his downfall will be expelled.

The return of the prodigal son: Sam returns to OpenAI as a king

“We have reached a preliminary agreement for Sam to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board composed of Bret Taylor (Chairman), Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo,” OpenAI said in a Twitter post. “We are working together to finalize the details. Thank you very much for your patience.”

The return of Sam Altman and the potential board reshuffle capped off a week that has turned OpenAI, the maker of the ChatGPT chatbot and one of the world’s highest-profile artificial intelligence companies, upside down.

“I love OpenAI, and everything I’ve done in the past few days has been to keep this team and its mission together,” Altman said in a post on X. “With the new board and the support from Microsoft, I am looking forward to returning to OpenAI and building upon our strong partnership with MSFT.”

Individuals familiar with the negotiations say that the primary task of this small initial board is to review and appoint an expanded board of up to 9 people that will readjust OpenAI’s governance.

Microsoft, which has invested over $10 billion in the company, wants to have a seat on that expanded board, as does Altman himself. During a press tour this week, CEO Satya Nadella mentioned that the company did not want any more “surprises.”

All key parties have posted about the agreement for Altman’s return, which, we’ve been told, is a closed deal except for some last-minute formalities. On Twitter, Altman said, “Everything I’ve done in the past few days has been to keep this team and its mission together.”

The story of a swift dismissal

“OpenAI’s board surprised Mr. Altman and the company’s employees on Friday afternoon when they communicated his departure. Greg Brockman, the company’s president and co-founder alongside Altman and others, resigned in protest.

The dismissal triggered efforts by the 38-year-old Altman, his allies in the tech industry, and OpenAI employees to compel the company’s board to bring him back. Sunday night, after a weekend of negotiations, the board stated they would stand by their decision.

However, hours later, Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor, announced that Altman, Brockman, and others would join the company to create a new advanced artificial intelligence laboratory.”

Almost all OpenAI employees (over 700) signed a letter informing the board that they would leave and follow Altman to Microsoft if he wasn’t reinstated, jeopardizing the company’s future.

Now it has come to light that before Altman’s dismissal, OpenAI’s board was divided and in conflict. Sam Altman criticized a member over a research job discussing the company, while directors disagreed on who should fill vacancies on the board that had been open for months.

It’s possible that in the future, we’ll see how Sam Altman used this challenging moment in his career to reset OpenAI as he always wanted, reclaiming his position and gaining more power within the company than ever before.

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Journalist specialized in technology, entertainment and video games. Writing about what I'm passionate about (gadgets, games and movies) allows me to stay sane and wake up with a smile on my face when the alarm clock goes off. PS: this is not true 100% of the time.

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