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On the eve of ChatGPT's birthday, OpenAI welcomes Sam Altman back as CEO with a new board

Microsoft also gets a non-voting observer position on OpenAI's Board of Directors, which should stop some future surprises.

Published onNovember 30, 2023

OpenAI on website on smartphone stock photo (1)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • ChatGPT turns a year old today, as it was released on November 30, 2022.
  • On the eve of its first birthday, OpenAI has formally announced the return of Sam Altman as CEO, putting weeks of drama at rest.
  • Microsoft is also getting a non-voting observer position on OpenAI’s Board of Directors.

ChatGPT was launched on November 30, 2022, exactly a year ago, and it has changed some of the very fundamentals of the internet. Searching the internet casually no longer involves visiting tens of websites to find the best answer. Instead, the best answer is now served to you in the exact form that you require. On the eve of ChatGPT’s first birthday, OpenAI is putting some of its recent drama behind itself as it formally announces the return of Sam Altman as the CEO and appoints a new Board of Directors.

Through its official blog, OpenAI has shared messages from Sam Altman and Greg Brockman to the OpenAI team, announcing their return. The letters largely reiterate the previous announcement regarding Sam Altman’s return, as the agreement has now moved beyond an in-principle agreement to a formal one. This finally brings an end to most of the OpenAI leadership drama.

Sam Altman, the co-founder of OpenAI, was unceremoniously fired earlier this month by OpenAI’s Board of Directors. The board then appointed OpenAI’s Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati as the interim CEO, only to replace her with Twitch ex-CEO Emmett Shear. Shear’s tenure as interim CEO lasted as long as Murati’s, just two days, as he made way for Sam Altman’s return as the CEO.

Under Altman, Murtai will return to her role as CTO. OpenAI ex-President Greg Brockman, who had announced his resignation right after Altman was fired, is also returning to the company. Altman refers to his working relationship with Brockman as “partners in running this company,” and OpenAI will soon have an organizational chart that reflects the same.

Meanwhile, a new Board of Directors for OpenAI has been chosen. It will be chaired by Bret Taylor, along with Larry Summers and Adam D’Angelo.

Ilya Sutskever, widely believed to have led the coup to remove Altman as CEO, will not serve on the board, but the company is discussing how he can continue his work at OpenAI. He was previously OpenAI’s Chief Scientist.

Altman highlights OpenAI’s next steps. The company will advance on its research plan and further invest in its full-stack safety efforts. It will also continue to improve and deploy its products to customers. And finally, the board will be working towards inducting new members to improve its governance structure and will be overseeing an independent review of recent events.

As part of the changes, Microsoft will also take a non-voting observer position on OpenAI’s board. Microsoft’s selected official will be able to attend board meetings but will not have any voting rights.

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