Sam Altman returns to OpenAI in a bizarre reversal
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Sam Altman returns to OpenAI in a bizarre reversal the company said in a Wednesday post on X, just days after his surprise ouster.

Sam Altman will return to OpenAI as CEO with a new board, the company announced, adding that the board will be chaired by Bret Taylor, a former co-CEO of Salesforce. Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora, and Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary, are other members.

According to the statement, “We are collaborating to determine the details.”.

Altman wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that he was excited to return to OpenAI and build on the company’s “strong partnership” with Microsoft, the biggest financial backer of ChatGPT.

The announcement appears to end days of chaos for the AI industry, which included arguments over who should lead OpenAI and how the firm should be run, as well as discussions about just how fast AI technology should be developed.

We still do not know the exact circumstances surrounding Altman’s firing and rehiring. According to OpenAI’s announcement on Friday, Altman was not sufficiently “candid” with the board.

Those ambiguous words sent the rumor mill into overdrive. A key factor in Altman’s ouster was tension between Altman, who favored pushing AI development more aggressively, and the original OpenAI board, who wanted to move more cautiously.

Monday morning, Nadella announced Altman, along with fellow OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman, would lead Microsoft’s new AI research division. Former Twitch chief Emmett Shear will serve as OpenAI’s interim CEO.

The company’s board then refused to resign and reinstate Altman as CEO, leading hundreds of employees to threaten to leave, potentially for Microsoft.

Microsoft and Altman appear to be the big winners from the dust-up Altman will continue leading the firm he helped to found, now with a board that is, in theory, more supportive of his vision.