OpenAI Announces Sam Altman’s Return as CEO in Landmark Agreement

November 30, 2023 – OpenAI officially welcomes back Sam Altman as its Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

The company announced the completion of the agreement that marks Altman’s return. Concurrently, Microsoft revealed its acquisition of a non-voting observer seat on the non-profit board governing OpenAI.

In a memorandum shared with staff, Altman expressed unprecedented excitement about the future. He conveyed gratitude for everyone’s hard work during uncertain and unprecedented times, emphasizing the resilience and spirit that have set them apart in the industry. Altman expressed profound satisfaction with the possibility of successfully fulfilling their mission.

The sudden decision to dismiss Altman led to the departure of three out of the four board members who had voted for his termination. The new board of directors at OpenAI now comprises Chairman Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo. (Note: Adam D’Angelo was the only one in the previous board who maintained a position against the dismissal.)

As part of the restructuring, Microsoft joins the board as a “non-voting observer.” Microsoft, a major investor, holds a 49% stake in the for-profit entity of OpenAI.

Altman made it clear in the memo to employees that he holds no ill will towards OpenAI co-founder and Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever. Initially involved in the decision to remove Altman from the board, Sutskever later requested Altman’s return. Altman stated, “While Ilya will no longer serve on the board, we hope to continue our working relationship and are in discussions regarding his ongoing role at OpenAI.”

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