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London Tech Week

Within days of sacking, Sam Altman to return as CEO of OpenAI

OpenAI unveils GPT-4o: A new era of multimodal AI that can hear and respond

Over the past few days, Sam Altman’s sudden sacking as CEO and board member at OpenAI was creating a buzz. Within a few days, OpenAI has announced that it has reached an agreement to bring back Altman as CEO. It is claimed that nearly all of its employees threatened to quit over the surprise sacking.

In addition to the CEO, the most valuable US company is reforming its board by bringing in new members. Former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, former US Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, and Quora founder Adam D’Angelo will join OpenAI’s board. 

The return of Sam Altman

Microsoft, having committed more than $11 billion in investments to OpenAI and holding approximately 49% ownership in the startup, was surprised by OpenAI’s recent decision. In response, Microsoft promptly recruited Altman to spearhead a new AI division within the software conglomerate. 

Greg Brockman, the former President of OpenAI, and numerous other startup members resigned in objection to the initial decision made by OpenAI’s board. Expressing solidarity, Brockman, who had previously joined Microsoft, announced his return to the startup.

Soon after Altman’s post on X, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who had recently welcomed Altman into the company, said they had discussed the matter and agreed that this is the first essential step to building a “more stable, well-informed, and effective governance in OpenAI.

Massive support for Altman 

The world has been captivated by Altman’s return to OpenAI more than his sudden exit on Friday. OpenAI’s nonprofit board seemed resolute in its initial decision to remove Altman, shuffling through two CEOs in three days to avoid reinstating him. Meanwhile, the employees of OpenAI revolted, threatening to defect to Microsoft with Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman. Notably, a key member of the board, Ilya Sutskever, flipped back to Altman’s camp, leaving the others vulnerable. 

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