Just two days after Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hired former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman to lead a new advanced AI research team, OpenAI reversed its decision to let go.
On November 22, OpenAI announced a new deal that would see Altman return as CEO of the company. The company confirmed this decision through an official tweet.
We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of directors consisting of Bret Taylor (Chairman), Larry Summers and Adam D’Angelo.
We work together to understand the details. Thank you very much for your patience through this.
-OpenAI (@OpenAI) November 22, 2023
According to OpenAI, the company and Altman are “working together to iron out the details.” Sam Altman reciprocated his desire to join OpenAI by retweeting the integration announcement with a “heart” emoji.
I love openai, and everything I’ve done over the last few days has served to keep this team and its mission together. When I decided to join MSFT on Sunday evening, it was clear that it was the best route for me and the team. with the new board and the support of Satya, I am…
– Sam Altman (@sama) November 22, 2023
Additionally, Altman openly shared his “love” for OpenAI by deciding to step down from his new role at Microsoft, add:
“I look forward to returning to OpenAI and leveraging our strong partnership with Microsoft.”
Nadella supported Altman and President Greg Brockman’s decision to return to OpenAI, and emphasized that this is critical to ensuring OpenAI continues to thrive and further its mission.
Back to OpenAI and back to coding tonight.
-Greg Brockman (@gdb) November 22, 2023
Altman’s short-lived departure from OpenAI revealed his role in unifying the team. On November 20, 505 of OpenAI’s 700 employees reportedly signed a letter saying the board damaged the company’s mission by firing Altman.
Related: Emmett Shear new OpenAI CEO: A timeline of Sam Altman’s ouster
“The process by which you fired Sam Altman and removed Greg Brockman from the board of directors has jeopardized all of this work and undermined our mission and our company,” the letter said.
The negative reaction from OpenAI employees, coupled with Microsoft’s timely job offer, solidified Altman’s dominant position in the AI ecosystem.
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