In Stunning Reversal, OpenAI Rehires Sam Altman

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Uno Reverse

After an extremely confusing five days, OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has made his triumphant return to helm the ChatGPT maker once again.

In a statement released late Tuesday evening, the company said it had "reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO" — but with a reshuffled non-profit board, which oversees the company's for-profit arm that Altman runs.

The news could mark the end of a messy custody battle, with the company churning through several ersatz CEOs before landing back on the mercurial Altman

Meanwhile, the vast majority of OpenAI employees sided with Altman, threatening to leave en masse unless Altman was reinstated.

Now that he's returned as CEO, the company's governing board likely avoided a mass mutiny — and having Altman snatched up by major OpenAI investor Microsoft, who quickly offered him a cushy CEO position after news emerged that he'd had been booted.

Shuffleboard

Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo was already a member and remains on the board. Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, who will be the board's chair, is new to the gig.

Meanwhile, OpenAI's esoteric chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who led the rebellion against Altman but later regretted his actions, has now lost his board seat.

Altman also reportedly had a huge falling out with Helen Toner, former board member and strategy director at Georgetown University’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, who is also not returning.

Confoundingly, we're still none the wiser as to why Altman was actually thrown out last week. All we know so far is that the decision wasn't "made in response to malfeasance or anything related to our financial, business, safety, or security/privacy practices," according to a Saturday memo sent to staff by OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap.

The dust is very much still settling — and more details are likely to emerge in the coming days, so stay tuned.

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