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OpenAI drama continues as board in talks to bring fired CEO back

OpenAI reverses course.

Published onNovember 18, 2023

OpenAI on website on smartphone stock photo (2)
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • OpenAI fired CEO Sam Altman on November 17.
  • OpenAI’s board is reportedly in discussions with Altman to return as CEO.
  • Altman is “ambivalent” about coming back.

OpenAI has been on a bit of a rollercoaster over the last 48 hours. On Friday, Open AI announced it had fired CEO Sam Altman. After major upheavals following the announcement, the board that fired him is now in talks to bring him back.

According to The Verge, multiple sources close to the matter say the OpenAI board is in discussions with Altman to return as CEO. However, Altman is reportedly “ambivalent” about coming back to the company and wants significant governance changes.

The initial decision to ouster Altman came after a “deliberative review process” which found that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications,” the ChatGPT creator states. The company went on to say that Altman’s lack of candidness was “hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.”

Shortly after Altman was fired, co-founder and president Greg Brockman revealed on X (formerly Twitter) that he had quit due to the news. He was also followed by a number of senior researchers. A few hours later, Brockman shared he and Altman were notified of their removal from the board by board member, co-founder, and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever.

It appears that the board may have agreed in principle to resign and let Altman and Brockman come back, according to sources close to Altman. However, the publication says the board missed a 5 PM PT deadline by which a number of OpenAI employees were ready to walk.

Sutskever, the leader of OpenAI’s researchers and the person who notified Altman and Brockman of their removal, reportedly played a big role in Altman’s unexpected firing. Bloomberg and The Information have reported that internal disagreements about AI safety and speed of development may have been the motivational factor behind the move.

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