OpenAI investors want Sam Altman back, which could spell board changes

OpenAI investors want Sam Altman back. Like many, they were shocked when the company’s board abruptly fired the high-profile CEO on Friday.

NOW, MicrosoftThrive Capital, Tiger Global Management and other investors in the ChatGPT creator are working to reinstate Altman, according to people familiar with the matter. told Bloomberg and others. As part of this effort, they are also aiming to replace the board of directors and are considering possible new directors, including former Selling power co-CEO Bret Taylor.

Jason Kwon, OpenAI’s chief strategy officer, expressed optimism in a note obtained by Information that Altman – and the senior executives who resigned to protest his firing – could be brought back.

OpenAI’s largest investor by far is Microsoft, which holds significant power over its smaller partner in several ways, such as Fortune reported earlier today. OpenAI depends on Microsoft for the large computing power required by its generative AI products. And even though the software giant has committed at least $13 billion to the venture since 2019, commitments and achievements are two different things. It is unclear whether OpenAI could continue to operate without continued support from Microsoft.

You’re here CEO Elon Musk, who helped establish OpenAI as a nonprofit counterweight to Google in 2015, before the relationship deteriorated, complained Earlier this year, OpenAI transformed itself into “a private, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft.” Musk has long warned of the potential dangers of AI, although he now has a ChatGPT rival named Grok.

Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, who joined the company after leaving Tesla in 2018 and helped oversee the Microsoft deal, said Fortune, “I joined the company when it was a nonprofit, and then obviously since then we’ve had to evolve: these supercomputers are expensive.” She was appointed interim CEO after Altman’s ouster.

OpenAI’s payroll is also expensive, with the company retaining some of the world’s best AI talent at a time when the field is booming, thanks to the release of ChatGPT late last year. Ilya Sutskeverthe co-founder and chief scientist of OpenAI, whose Musk worked hard to recruit from Google in 2015 – earned almost $2 million in one year in 2016 and It’s probably been that many times now..

Sutskever is a board member and it was he who informed Altman of his firing, according to co-founder and chairman Greg Brockman, who resigned in protest of Altman’s firing. Sutskever and Altman disagree on how quickly OpenAI brings potentially dangerous AI capabilities to market and what measures are necessary for public safety. according to Bloomberg.

Altman told investors that if he returned to OpenAI, he wanted a new board and governance structure, according to THE Wall Street Journal.

As for how the board was able to oust Altman without the consent of major investors, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella was asked about the issue. blinded by the decisionaccording to Bloomberg, it depends on how OpenAI started and evolved.

While OpenAI began as a nonprofit in 2015, four years later Altman, shortly after taking over as CEO, created a commercial arm, governed by the nonprofit parent company lucrative. Altman, unusual for a CEO, but by design, had no ownership stake in the company. This diminished his influence with the board of directors, which, as he often pointed out, had the power to fire him.

To the surprise of many, that’s exactly what he did on Friday. Although the situation remains fluid, Altman could return soon. If he does, the configuration of the board could change.

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