Sam Altman officially returned as CEO of OpenAI, a week after the AI company reached a tentative agreement to reinstate him, with new changes in board composition giving Microsoft a seat on the table.
In a November 29 noteAltman revealed that Mira Murati would return to her former role as chief technology officer and that Greg Brockman would return to his role as president of OpenAI.
Altman outlined three main goals that OpenAI will immediately focus on. First, the focus is on advancing the research plan and strengthening efforts toward comprehensive security, which have always been at the core of the organization’s work.
Second, there is a strong commitment to improving existing products and meeting customer needs, with the aim of ensuring that the wider population can benefit from the benefits of AI and actively contribute to its evolution.
The third priority on Altman’s agenda involves significant structural changes, including the creation of a new, diverse board of directors. These changes are intended to improve governance practices and oversee an independent review of recent events.
Microsoft gets role on new OpenAI board of directors.
The newly restructured board will be chaired by notable figures such as Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor.
Additionally, Larry Summers, the former US Treasury Secretary, and Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora, are among the board members. Microsoft, a major investor in OpenAI, was granted a non-voting observer seat.
This strategic move allows Microsoft to gain a deeper understanding of OpenAI’s operations, even though there will be no formal vote. The tech company owns a substantial 49% stake in the for-profit entity and was left with egg on its face following the shock firing of Altman by the former OpenAI board.
Since then, there have been indications that Microsoft would play a role in the composition of OpenAI’s new board of directors.
Board Chairman Taylor said:
“OpenAI is a more important institution than ever. ChatGPT has integrated artificial intelligence into the daily lives of hundreds of millions of people. Its popularity has put AI – its benefits and risks – at the heart of virtually every conversation about the future of government, business and society.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has yet to name a representative for this observer position at the time of publication.