Sam Altman May Return As OpenAI’s CEO – The OpenAI board is said to be in discussions with former CEO Sam Altman about his potential return to the company and reinstatement as CEO, according to The Verge. Altman was unexpectedly removed by the board on Friday, but on Saturday, there was purported agreement in principle for the board’s resignation, paving the way for Altman and Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s president and former board chairman, to come back.
Following Altman’s dismissal, Brockman resigned a few hours later. The close friends had been discussing the possibility of launching a new company, even prior to Altman’s ousting, as revealed through conversations with friends and investors. On Friday, several senior researchers resigned, and additional departures of key figures within the company are reportedly imminent.
Altman, displaying a sense of uncertainty, is reportedly hesitant about returning to OpenAI and would only consider doing so with substantial governance changes. In contrast to typical company boards focused on shareholder value maximization, OpenAI’s board prioritizes the development of “broadly beneficial” artificial general intelligence (AGI), with none of its members holding equity in the company.
Ilya Sutskever, the co-founder leading the company’s research team, is said to have played a significant role in Altman’s Friday removal from the company. The Verge suggests that this dynamic hints at a potential power struggle between the research and product sides of the company. In a memo to OpenAI staff, COO Brad Lightcap said that Altman was removed due to a “breakdown in communication between Sam and the board”, and not “malfeasance or anything related to our financial, business, safety, or security/privacy practices.”