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Sam Altman officially returns to OpenAI board after internal review, but mystery remains [U]

As of last November, the OpenAI mess was almost over, but one thing remained unresolved: a formal review of CEO Sam Altman's actions . Update: The internal review has been completed and Altman has officially been appointed to the board with three new directors.

The board has expressed full confidence in the leadership of Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, but the mystery of what led to his removal in the first place remains unsolved – more in end …

OpenAI Mess

OpenAI announced on November 17 that four members of the company's board of directors had fired Altman and removed Brockman from the board. Only the most vague reasons were given, namely that Altman allegedly “was not always frank in his communications with the board of directors.”

The tech world came out in support of Altman, and major OpenAI investors tried to get him reinstated. Microsoft offered jobs to Altman, Brockman, and anyone else on the OpenAI team who wanted to join them. Nearly the entire staff then sent an open letter to the board stating that they would resign unless Altman was reinstated and the board fired.

OpenAI initially stated that CTO Mira Murati would to serve as interim CEO, but said within 48 hours that she would be replaced by Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear, also in an interim capacity. Then a second round of negotiations was held. As a result, all but one of the board members was fired, and Sam Altman was reinstated as CEO – with some notable compromises.

Return of Altman, new board of directors, Sutskever

The paperwork is now complete and Altman has officially resumed his duties as CEO of the organization's commercial wing, although an internal review is still underway.

Altman announced that a new supervisory board has been appointed

I am returning to OpenAI as CEO. Mira will return to her role as CTO. The new initial board will include Bret Taylor (Chairman), Larry Summers and Adam D'Angelo.

Bret Taylor announced that this is an unusual role for Microsoft.

We are pleased that the Board will include a non-voting observer from Microsoft.

Altman said chief scientist and former board member Ilya Sutskever will return in some capacity, but not as a board member. (Sutzkever was one of those who voted to fire Altman, before declaring that he deeply regretted it.)

I love and respect Ilya, I think He's the guiding light of the field and the treasure of man. I don't have any animosity towards him. Although Ilya will no longer be a member of the board of directors, we look forward to continuing our working relationship and are discussing how he can continue his work at OpenAI.

Lawyer writes Altman's tweet

Parts of Altman's statement were clearly written by a lawyer, as was the tweet.

The best interests of the company and its mission always come first. It is clear that there were real misunderstandings between me and the board members. For your part, it is incredibly important to learn from this experience and apply this knowledge as the company moves forward. I welcome the council's independent assessment of all recent developments. I'm grateful to Helen and Tasha for their contributions to OpenAI.

Anyone who follows his tweets knows about his eccentric habit of using only lowercase letters, which gives it an edgy appearance.

Adam D'Angelo remains on board

Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo remains a board member despite his company offering competing generative text models and also buying access to ChatGPT. Altman – or rather the lawyer impersonating Altman – addressed this in another tweet.

I understand that some issues have been raised during this process questions about Adam's potential conflict with his interest in using Quora and Poe while on the OpenAI board of directors. For the record, I want to state that Adam has always been very clear with me and the Board about potential conflict and has done whatever he needed to do (recusing himself when necessary and even offering to resign from the Board if we ever felt that necessary). ) to properly handle this situation and avoid making conflicting decisions. Quora is a major OpenAI customer and we have benefited from having customer representatives on our Board of Directors.

The dispute is not over yet, as the board has promised an independent investigation into the events – and we still don't know for sure what prompted the former board to fire Altman.

Update: Review Complete:

OpenAI's Ad Hoc Board Committee today announced the completion of its review of WilmerHale. The firm conducted dozens of interviews with members of OpenAI's previous board of directors, OpenAI executives, advisors to the previous board, and other relevant witnesses; reviewed more than 30,000 documents; and assessed various corporate actions. Based on the reports compiled by WilmerHale and following the recommendations of the Special Committee, the Board expressed its full confidence in Mr. Sam Altman and Mr. Greg Brockman, who continues to lead OpenAI.

“We unanimously concluded that Sam and Greg are the right leaders for OpenAI,” said Bret Taylor, Chairman of the Board of Directors of OpenAI.

This statement excludes several theories that were expressed at the time, but does not… do not indicate the cause of the loss trust:

WilmerHale also found that the previous Board decision was not prompted by concerns about the safety or security of the product, the pace of development, OpenAI's finances or its statements to investors , clients or business partners. On the contrary, it was the result of a breakdown in relations and loss of trust between the previous Board of Directors and Mr. Altman.

Photo:  Growtika/Unsplash

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