The back-and-forth at OpenAI just doesn’t seem to subside.
For context, in mid-November, the company ousted its long-time CEO Sam Altman, as he was reportedly “not consistently candid in his communications,” and the company no longer had confidence “in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.” On November 22nd, however, after feeling the repercussions of ousting Altman, OpenAI revealed that it has an “agreement in principle” for Altman to return. At the time, Altman said he needed a seat on the company’s board, and so did Microsoft.
Then, on Wednesday, as shared by Reuters, sources familiar with the matter said that OpenAI’s new board will not include Microsoft.
Now, the company has announced some major changes to its leadership and governance. The company has added Microsoft, its largest investor, as a non-voting observer on its board.
Altman is joined by co-founder Greg Brockman, who resumes his role as president, and Mira Murati, who served as interim CEO during the debacle and will return to her role as CTO. The announcement also confirms a new board consisting of former Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor (chair), former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and original member Adam D’Angelo, who is also Quora’s co-founder and CEO.
Microsoft’s inclusion on the board is likely positive. The company has been a major partner and supporter of OpenAI, having invested billions of dollars into the organization and provided it with cloud computing and engineering resources. The announcement did not provide any details on why Microsoft was not on the board before, or what its role as an observer will now entail.