Big Board Alerts

November 21, 2023
OpenAI in negotiations for Sam Altman’s return

Ousted co-founder and CEO of OpenAI Sam Altman is in talks for a potential return to the company, Bloomberg reports. Negotiations involve board member Adam D’Angelo and key investors, with many advocating for Altman’s reinstatement.

One proposal includes Altman rejoining as a director on a transitional board, alongside potential director Bret Taylor, former co-CEO of Salesforce Inc. This development marks a significant shift, as the board had previously refrained from engaging with Altman since his dismissal.

Shareholder support for Altman and internal unrest

Shareholders like Thrive Capital, Khosla Ventures, and Tiger Global Management are pushing for Altman’s return. Sequoia Capital is also reportedly involved. Internal tensions have risen, with a memo from VP of Global Affairs Anna Makanju revealing intense discussions to unify the company. Employee threats to quit if Altman isn’t reinstated have added pressure.

There’s a push to settle the leadership turmoil before Thanksgiving to alleviate employee uncertainty. The board’s decision to fire Altman, citing lack of candor, has faced intense scrutiny, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, a major investor, expressing confusion over the lack of explanation.

OpenAI’s board composition and departures

Before Altman’s exit, the board included Altman, President Greg Brockman, Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever, Quora CEO D’Angelo, entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner of Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology. Brockman left the company following Altman’s dismissal.

The situation remains fluid, with the company’s future leadership structure and direction hanging in the balance. The outcome of these negotiations could significantly impact OpenAI’s trajectory and internal harmony.

The post OpenAI in negotiations for Sam Altman’s return appeared first on ReadWrite.


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