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Today the king of AI returns: Sam Altman comes back as CEO of OpenAI

Does he come back under the same conditions as before his dismissal?

Today the king of AI returns: Sam Altman comes back as CEO of OpenAI
Chema Carvajal Sarabia

Chema Carvajal Sarabia

  • Updated:

Just before Thanksgiving, the company stated that they had reached a preliminary agreement for his return. That week, we experienced a real frenzy, a series of events that will undoubtedly be the subject of a movie in the not-too-distant future.

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The interesting aspect of this entire movement is the role that Microsoft has gained, an essential partner of OpenAI. Following the back and forth, Microsoft has secured an observer seat without voting rights on the non-profit board that oversees OpenAI, as announced by the company on Wednesday.

But, getting back to the heart of the matter, Sam Altman is back, and the AI guru wanted to share some words on the day he reassumes the position of CEO of OpenAI. Let’s see what he has to say.

A triumphant return, a memorable victory

“Never have I been so excited about the future,” Altman said in a note to employees. “I am extremely grateful for everyone’s hard work in an unclear and unprecedented situation, and I believe our resilience and spirit set us apart in the industry. I feel very, very good about our chances of success in achieving our mission.”

Now that three of the four board members who had decided to dismiss Altman suddenly are no longer present, the new OpenAI board consists of chairman Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo, the sole remaining member from the previous board.

Microsoft’s addition to the board as an “observer without voting rights” means that the tech giant will have more visibility into the company’s internal workings but no official vote on crucial decisions.

Microsoft is one of the primary investors in OpenAI, holding a 49% stake in the for-profit entity that controls the non-profit board.

Until now, it hadn’t had visibility on that board. Altman’s dismissal came as a big surprise and jeopardized what has quickly become one of the most important partnerships in the tech industry.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment on who from the company would occupy the observer seat. But, who knows, it might be Satya Nadella himself.

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In his note to employees, Altman stated that he holds “no ill will” towards Ilya Sutskever, co-founder, and Chief Scientist of OpenAI, who initially participated in the board’s coup and later changed his stance after nearly all of the company’s employees threatened to resign if Altman did not return.

“Although Ilya will no longer be part of the board, we expect to continue our working relationship and are discussing how he can continue his work at OpenAI,” explained the returning CEO. Undoubtedly, changes are about to begin, despite any contrary messaging we might receive.

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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