OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman re-hired as CEO days after being ousted by board

OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman was re-hired CEO of the company Wednesday by a new board five days after being fired. File photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE
1 of 3 | OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman was re-hired CEO of the company Wednesday by a new board five days after being fired. File photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE

Nov. 22 (UPI) -- OpenAI said Wednesday it had re-hired former CEO Sam Altman just five days after its board fired him saying it had lost confidence in the leadership of the co-founder of the company who has become the poster boy for artificial intelligence.

Altman's return to the ChatGPT developer under a new board that includes former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and former Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor was pending final negotiations on the terms, OpenAI said in a post on X.


"We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo. We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this."

Altman said he relished returning to the company he loved and pledged to build on OpenAI's alliance with Microsoft, where he was hired Sunday to head up a new advanced AI research team alongside fellow OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman.

"I love OpenAI, and everything I've done over the past few days has been in service of keeping this team and its mission together. When I decided to join Microsoft on Sunday evening, it was clear that was the best path for me and the team. With the new board and Satya Nadella's support, I'm looking forward to returning to OpenAI, and building on our strong partnership with Microsoft.


The deal also sees former president Brockman -- who quit after Altman was ousted on Friday -- return to the San Francisco-based company, although it is unclear in what role.

"Returning to OpenAI and getting back to coding tonight," Brockman wrote on X.

Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft which holds a significant minority stake in OpenAI, said the shake-up of the board was an encouraging first step toward "more stable, well-informed, and effective" governance.

"Sam, Greg, and I have talked and agreed they have a key role to play along with the OAI leadership team in ensuring OAI continues to thrive and build on its mission. We look forward to building on our strong partnership and delivering the value of this next generation of AI to our customers and partners," Nadella wrote in a blog post.

The old board removed Altman from his position after accusing him of hampering its ability to do its job by withholding important information.

"Mr. Altman's departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI," it said in a statement.


Altman, 38, oversaw the development of the company's groundbreaking ChatGPT large language AI model which was greeted with fanfare worldwide when it launched in early 2022.

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