The story began last Friday when OpenAI’s board of directors surprisingly dismissed Altman. The public reason given was a lack of transparency in his communications with the board, hindering their operations. However, the exact circumstances surrounding this decision remained shrouded in mystery.
Over the weekend, pressure mounted from investors and employees, urging a reversal of this decision. By early Monday, it seemed Altman might return to OpenAI. Yet, in a swift move, OpenAI announced Emmett Shear, former CEO of Twitch, as his replacement. Concurrently, Microsoft hired both Altman and his right-hand man, Greg Brockman, previously OpenAI’s board president.
The situation reached a critical point when almost all OpenAI employees signed a letter threatening to follow Altman to Microsoft unless he was reinstated as CEO. They also demanded changes in the board of directors. Despite his new role at Microsoft, Altman remained in touch with OpenAI’s board, leaving the door open for a potential return.
Altman’s return was officially announced on Wednesday, under a new board of directors including Bret Taylor (former CEO of Salesforce), Adam D’Angelo (CEO of Quora), and Larry Summers (former U.S. Treasury Secretary). Altman expressed his commitment to OpenAI and its mission, acknowledging the support of the new board and Microsoft’s Satya Nadella. Greg Brockman, marking his continued involvement, tweeted about returning to OpenAI and resuming coding.
Despite the resolution, questions linger about the initial decision to dismiss Altman. The official explanation lacks detail, leaving room for speculation about the internal dynamics at OpenAI. With Microsoft’s significant investment in OpenAI, the tech giant’s role in these developments is also under scrutiny.