OpenAI in talks with Sam Altman about possible return: report

Sam Altman and OpenAI’s embattled board have reportedly begun talks about his potential return to the company, just days after he was ousted as CEO in one of the most shocking coups in Silicon Valley history. .

Talks are underway between Altman and a board member, Quora CEO and co-founder Adam D’Angelo. Bloomberg reportedciting people with knowledge of the subject.

Some of OpenAI’s biggest investors are also said to be part of the negotiations and are advocating for Altman’s return.

The board is reportedly exploring potential ways to end the bizarre saga, including appointing Altman as head of a transitional board of directors, the report added.

The talks come just a day after nearly all of the ChatGPT maker’s roughly 770 employees staged a mass revolt, threatening in a letter to quit their jobs unless OpenAI’s entire board of directors resigned.

Sam Altman was fired as CEO of OpenAI last Friday.
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Staff also want Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman reinstated to their positions and the appointment of two independent directors.

OpenAI’s Vice President of Global Affairs Anna Makanju reportedly told her staff that the company was holding “intense discussions” to quell the revolt, which could lead to a mass exodus of employees.

The memo also indicated that OpenAI leaders were in contact with Altman and the board of directors.

A source told Bloomberg that OpenAI leaders are trying to resolve the crisis before Thanksgiving.

OpenAI and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

OpenAI’s board of directors caught Microsoft and key investors such as Thrive Capital and Khosla Ventures by surprise with its announcement of Altman’s firing last Friday.

The announcement sparked frenetic negotiations to save the once-booming artificial intelligence company, with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mediating the talks.

OpenAI has named Emmett Shear, co-founder of video game streaming giant Twitch, to serve as interim CEO in Altman’s place.

Sam Altman has since accepted a new job at Microsoft.

Investor Vinod Khosla criticized the move in a column for The Informationaccusing OpenAI’s board of directors of a “serious miscalculation” that had “set back the promise of artificial intelligence.”

As it currently stands, Altman has taken on a new role as head of an AI research unit at Microsoft. Brockman has also joined the tech giant.

Despite the lingering discord, Altman insisted earlier this week that he was prepared to work with OpenAI as “a team” with “one mission” in his new role at Microsoft.

On Monday, Altman cryptically tweeted that they would all “work together in one way or another,” in a possible sign that he was open to a return.

OpenAI’s current board of directors includes D’Angelo; Tasha McCauley, technology entrepreneur; Helen Toner, chief strategy officer at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology and Ilya Sutskever, co-founder and chief scientist at OpenAI.

Investors were surprised by Altman’s firing.
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Altman was also a board member before his firing.

Brockman had served as president, but was removed from the board last Friday and resigned entirely that same night.

Sutskever played a key role in supporting the coup against Altman, only to declare earlier this week that he regretted his involvement.

The board has not yet provided a clear explanation for why Altman was fired. His initial statement only said that he had lost trust in Altman after he was not “consistently truthful in his communications.”

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