Nov 18, 2023 - Business

Reports: Efforts underway to bring back Altman as OpenAI CEO

Sam Altman. Photo: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Sam Altman is weighing a potential return to OpenAI just a day after being ousted as CEO, according to media reports that investors are hoping to get the company to bring him back. The Verge earlier reported that he is directly in talks with the company's board.

Why it matters: The efforts suggest investors hope to get the board to reconsider its decision, which some members may regret, especially after co-founder and then-president Greg Brockman resigned, along with three senior researchers.

Details: According to the reports, Altman isn't sold yet on returning and is seeking changes in governance.

  • Altman's ouster was possible because OpenAI's then-six member board was made up of himself, Brockman, co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever (who was reportedly instrumental in the move), and three independent directors (Adam D'Angelo, Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner).
  • OpenAI's board, unlike those of for-profit companies, is tasked with prioritizing the non-profit organization's mission, not shareholder return.

Yes, but: Altman is reportedly also considering starting a new company with some former OpenAI employees, including Brockman, and is weighing the two options.

  • Axios has reached out to OpenAI for comment.

Editor's note: This story is breaking news and may be updated.

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