- OpenAI has reached an “agreement in principle” to reinstate former CEO Sam Altman, the company announced in a statement posted to X Wednesday.
- The company is also overhauling the board, appointing former U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo and Chair Bret Taylor, former Salesforce co-CEO, according to the statement. D’Angelo is the only remaining member of the original board of directors, which comprised of Chairman and OpenAI President Greg Brockman, Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever, Altman, GeoSim Systems CEO Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner, director of strategy and foundational research grants at the Center for Security and Emerging Technology.
- “We are collaborating to figure out the details,” OpenAI said. The startup did not respond to requests for comment.
OpenAI is beginning to look more like it did last week with key leaders returning. The drama began Friday, when OpenAI removed Altman for what the board called not being “consistently candid,” but by Monday, the specter of mass employee resignation kicked off a race to shore up the company's future.
The series of events played out online as employees rushed to support Altman and called for the board’s resignation.
While the company worked to calm matters internally, enterprise customers were left to question the viability of hefty investments and implementation plans interwoven with the leading generative AI vendor.
It’s been a wake-up call for the importance of triaging vendor risks, highlighting the potential complications of relying on a single vendor’s tools and services.
The return of leadership members is likely to bring a sigh of relief to existing customers of OpenAI, according to Scott Bickley, practice lead and principal research director at Info-Tech Research Group. However, they likely still have unanswered questions.
“I think they would be looking at who’s making up the new board members,” Bickley said. “Then secondly, is there a structure to kind of build some stability into that?”