Sam Altman Reinstated as OpenAI CEO Just Five Days After Dismissal

Sam Altman is returning to OpenAI as CEO, and Greg Brockman is also returning, The Verge‘s sources say. The original board has been disbanded and replaced by a new, temporary three-man board with Bret Taylor (chair), Larry Summers and Adam D’Angelo. The agreement has been struck “in principal,” and must still be approved by all parties. The only job of the initial board will be to vet and appoint a permanent board with up to 9 members that will resent OpenAI’s governance. One of those seats will likely to go Microsoft and Altman himself, The Verge reported.

Altman confirmed the news in a separate post. “With the new board and with Satya’s support, I’m looking forward to returning to OpenAI and building on our strong partnership with [Microsoft],” he said.

“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,” as per OpenAI’s announcement from the Twitter post.

“We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board,” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella added in another post. “We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance.”

The drama of the past week reads like “a legit telenovela,” as one of my colleagues put it. It commenced with the shocking termination of CEO Altman late in the day on Friday, November 17th, followed by Brockman announcing that we would quit in protest. OpenAI then appointed CTO Mira Murati as interim CEO. The board stated that Altman was terminated for not being “consistently candid” in communications, a nothingburger of a comment that only generated more speculation. On Saturday, Murati was replaced as CEO by Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear.