The OpenAI CEO ouster saga finally received its happy ending many were hoping for, last week. Sam Altman, Mira Murati, and Greg Brockman have all been reinstated to their former positions at OpenAI as CEO, CTO, and chairman, respectively.
CEO Sam Altman had been abruptly removed from the company through its board of directors for a “lack of consistently candid communication.” Greg Brockman, co-founder and chairman at OpenAI had only been removed from the board during this time, though he chose to quit right away. Although Mira Murati never left the company, she replaced Altman as an interim CEO for a few days.
Each of the three individuals has been reinstated as members of the board, however, it is noteworthy that the board itself is currently undergoing comprehensive and transformative changes. It now includes Bret Taylor, the former co-CEO of Salesforce, as the chair, and Larry Summers, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary. Ilya Sutskever, who had a role in Altman’s removal and serves OpenAI as its chief scientist, is no longer a board member. Adam D’Angelo, the CEO of Quora is still a board member.
Here is what Sam Altman said about Ilya’s departure from the board of directors: “I love and respect Ilya, I think he’s a guiding light of the field and a gem of a human being. I harbor zero ill will towards him. While Ilya will no longer serve on the board, we hope to continue our working relationship and are discussing how he can continue his work at OpenAI.”
Better yet, none of the 700 employees who had threatened to quit to bring Altman back have quit. The company has lost no customers following its CEO turmoil.
While speaking to Axio, Sam Altman has said that he now hopes to learn why he was ousted in the first place. “I’d like to understand it better”, he said. He also added that he is not concerned about whether he gets a seat on the board as he has a lot of crucial work to take care of.
“I have a mountain of very important and urgent work in front of me,” he said. “I imagine plenty of scenarios where I’m not [on the board], even though I think CEOs usually are.”
That being said, he is not yet ready to share what he has learned about his ouster and reinstatement, as he does not know enough yet.
“I have a bunch of half-formed thoughts but I don’t think I’m ready to say… ‘Here’s my like nice little takeaway’ and wrap it up with a bow.”