Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has triumphantly returned to lead the ChatGPT maker after a rather perplexing five days.
The firm said late on Tuesday night that it had “reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO”; however, Altman will be leading a reorganized non-profit board that would supervise the company’s for-profit division.
The announcement may signal the conclusion of an ugly custody dispute, in which the business cycled through many impostor CEOs before settling on the volatile Altman.
The great majority of OpenAI workers, however, threatened to quit in droves unless Altman was given his job back.
After he was ejected, Altman was promptly given a lucrative CEO role by Microsoft, a key OpenAI investor, and the company’s governing board was probably spared a mass revolt now that he has returned to his position.
Adam D’Angelo, the CEO of Quora, is still a member of the board. Bret Taylor, co-CEO of Salesforce, will head the board; he is new to the position.
Ilya Sutskever, the obscure head scientist of OpenAI, led the mutiny against Altman but eventually came to regret his actions, and as a result, he lost his position on the board.
According to reports, Altman also had a major falling out with Helen Toner, the strategy director of Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology and a previous board member, who is apparently not coming back.
The reason Altman was indeed fired last week remains a mystery to this day. According to a message emailed to workers on Saturday by OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap, the decision was not “made in response to malfeasance or anything related to our financial, business, safety, or security/privacy practices.” That is all the information we currently have.
The dust is still very much settling, so keep checking back for additional information that should surface in the next several days.