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Sam Altman set to return to OpenAI's board of directors nearly 5 months after surprise ouster

Sam Altman
Sam Altman is set to return to OpenAI's board of directors.Kent Nishimura
  • CEO Sam Altman will be reinstated to OpenAI's board of directors.

  • Bret Taylor, chair of OpenAI's board, said members "unanimously concluded" Altman is right to lead the company.

  • The AI startup will also bring on three additional new board members, the company announced.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is set to return to OpenAI's board of directors, the company announced Friday.

The move comes roughly four and a half months after the CEO's surprise November ouster from the company, led by fellow board directors Ilya Sutskever, Adam D'Angelo, Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner. Altman was fired and rehired in a matter of days, and a recently concluded internal investigation into his expulsion was launched.

"We have unanimously concluded that Sam and Greg are the right leaders for OpenAI," Bret Taylor, chair of the OpenAI board, said in a statement released Friday.

Toner, McCauly, and Sutskever have since left their board positions at the company. While cofounder and chief scientist Sutskever remains at OpenAI, he has shied from the public eye since his involvement in Altman's ouster, spurring rumors he may resign — or accept an offer from Elon Musk to work at xAI. The Information reported he is in talks about remaining at the company.

The Verge reported that, during a short call with reporters on Friday, Altman said there is "nothing to announce" regarding Ilya's status at OpenAI, calling him "awesome," and saying "I hope we work together for the rest of our careers."

In addition to Altman's reinstatement, OpenAI announced the appointment of three additional board directors on Friday, bringing the total number of leaders in the nonprofit to seven. The new board members include a former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sue Desmond-Hellman; a former president of Sony Entertainment, Nicole Seligman; as well as Instacart CEO Fidji Simo.

Representatives of OpenAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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