OpenAI has announced a major reshuffle of its board of directors, bringing in high-profile names and marking a new era in its governance. This move comes as a surprise, especially with the reinstatement of Sam Altman as CEO, after a brief period of uncertainty within the company.
Sam Altman, previously dismissed from the board due to a loss of confidence in his leadership, has now officially returned to his role as CEO. In a statement, Altman expressed gratitude towards his team and outlined his vision for the future of OpenAI. His return is seen as a pivotal moment for the company, indicating a renewed focus on its strategic goals.
The new board is set to be chaired by Bret Taylor, CEO of SalesForce, and includes notable figures such as Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora. Notably, Microsoft, a key stakeholder in OpenAI, will also be part of the board, albeit as an observer without voting rights. This inclusion comes after reports from The Information suggested Microsoft would not be involved in the board to prioritize economic interests over security concerns, a claim now refuted by Altman’s announcement.
Mira Murati, who briefly served as the interim CEO, will return to her previous role as CTO. Greg Brockman, who had left OpenAI after being removed from the board, rejoins as the company’s president, but not as a board member. This restructuring implies that no current OpenAI employee, including Altman, will serve on the new board.
Ilya Sutskever, a key figure in the previous leadership and allegedly involved in Altman’s dismissal, will not be returning to the board. His future role within OpenAI remains uncertain. Other former board members, Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner, are also not included in the new setup.
Amidst these changes, OpenAI has confirmed that no employees were dismissed, maintaining the integrity of its workforce. This stability is crucial, especially after reports of over 500 of its 700 employees threatening to move to Microsoft, which had expressed interest in forming an AI division and offered positions to OpenAI staff.
Bret Taylor emphasized the goal of forming a “qualified and diverse” board to represent OpenAI’s mission. The board plans to establish an independent committee to oversee a review of recent events and improve the company’s governance structure.