OpenAI Reinstates Sam Altman to Board of Directors 4 Months After Firing Him

Mike Coppola/Getty Images
Mike Coppola/Getty Images

The artificial intelligence leader OpenAI has reinstated CEO Sam Altman to its board of directors just four months after it fired him, the company announced on Friday.

The move was the culmination of a months-long internal investigation into Altman’s leadership that concluded in an affirmation of his skills. The probe, which was conducted by an outside law firm, included dozens of interviews with OpenAI’s top execs and advisers and a review of more than 30,000 documents, the company said in a statement.

“We have unanimously concluded that Sam and Greg are the right leaders for OpenAI,” Board Chairman Bret Taylor said, referring to Altman and the company’s president Greg Brockman.

The board also announced the hiring of three new members: Sue Desmond-Hellmann, former CEO of the Gates Foundation; Nicole Seligman, a former executive at Sony; and Fidji Simo, CEO of Instacart. In a separate statement, the ChatGPT innovator said the new additions were “part of its commitment to expansion.”

Altman was initially ousted as CEO and from the board in November in a surprise move by the former board of directors, who claimed Altman hadn’t been honest with them in his reports.

That firing set off a chain reaction within the small-but-mighty firm, as its president resigned in solidarity with Altman and nearly all of its workforce threatened to follow suit unless he was reinstated. The saga ended in Altman’s advantage, with the entire board that fired him agreeing to step down. Altman was reinstated as CEO within days.

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