OpenAI Sam Altman Regains CEO Seat After Chaotic Weeks

BySamson Ononeme

Nov 30, 2023
Sam Altman Reinstated as OpenAI CEO After Chaotic Weeks

Key Insights

  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman returns to post after brief, unexpected departure with Microsoft gaining board seat
  • Altman confirms interim head Murati back to CTO role, outlines priorities like advancing research and products
  • Microsoft secures non-voting board observer position on OpenAI’s new governance board chaired by Salesforce’s CEO

SAN FRANCISCO β€” OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman resumed his post as chief executive this week, closing an uncertain chapter after his surprise temporary ousting as Microsoft gained a board observer role under the research giant’s new governance structure.

In an internal memo Thursday, Altman confirmed interim OpenAI head Mira Murati will step back into her former chief technology officer duties with his return. He expressed excitement over the company’s future despite the recent organizational turbulence.

The restoration comes shortly after Altman accepted and then aborted a new AI leadership role at Microsoft as part of the fallout over his sudden departure from OpenAI.

Now seeking stability, OpenAI revealed a reformed board chaired by Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor which includes former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, while Microsoft attained non-voting attendee privileges befitting a key investor.

Reinstated CEO Altman outlined three top priorities of propelling OpenAI’s cutting-edge research, strengthening its products like chatbot ChatGPT, and better serving customers as he resumes the helm.

After injecting over $13 billion into the firm, OpenAI’s crown jewel asset, Microsoft initially faced exclusion from direct board representation before apparently leveraging Altman’s temporary hire at the tech titan to lobby for inclusion.

While OpenAI strives to refocus efforts around ethical AI development, the past few weeks of disorder displayed how power struggles can swirl around promising technologies with vast societal sway – especially when billions in value hang in the balance.

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