It’s been a wild few days for Sam Altman, who was fired from OpenAI, hired by Microsoft, then rehired again by OpenAI. Apparently, no one was happy with Altman’s firing, which is why the company quickly gave in and rehired him after they “reached an agreement in principle.”
The Guardian reports that Altman’s firing ruffled some feathers in the company, with 750 employees quitting after this decision. Microsoft, who hired Altman to overlook the company’s own pursuit into AI, also pushed hard to reinstate him, which is probably why he’s CEO again.
“We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo,” OpenAI said on Twitter. “We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this.”
Not long after, Altman released a statement of his own, seemingly happy with his return to the company. Greg Brockman also confirmed that he was returning to OpenAI, tweeting out “we are so back,” in a literal sense.
More details on his return will be revealed soon, though the new board featuring Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo is a big change. Interestingly, D’Angelo actually played a part in Altman’s firing, so his presence here is newsworthy, to say the least.
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, has since tweeted out his support for the changes made to OpenAI. Nadella previously said that the company was still a major partner for their pursuit of AI, so it seems they want it handled by one of their new employees in Altman.
“We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board,” Nadella tweeted out. “We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance.”
Now that Sam Altman is back, it’s almost like the fiasco with OpenAI was pretty pointless in hindsight. At the least, it’s good that his employees had his back and the future of AI could be in good hands.