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OpenAI board now wants Sam Altman to return as CEO: Report

IANS | November 19, 2023 10:58 AM

SAN FRANCISCO: After creating a high-voltage drama after abruptly sacking Sam Altman, OpenAI board is now reportedly in discussions with him to return to the company as its CEO.

However, Altman, who was fired by the board on a video call, is “ambivalent” about coming back and would seek key governance changes, reports The Verge, citing people aware of the development.

“A source close to Altman says the board had agreed in principle to resign and to allow Altman and Greg Brockman (OpenAI President and co-founder) to return, but has since waffled -- missing a key deadline by which many OpenAI staffers were set to resign, ” the report said late on Saturday.

If Altman decides to leave and start a new company, those employees would join him, the report added.

After Altman’s sacking and Brockman’s resignation, at last three senior researchers also resigned and more departures are in the works.

According to a report in The Information, citing sources, OpenAI research director Jakub Pachocki, AI risk evaluation head Aleksander Madry, and long-time researcher Szymon Sidor have quit.

“The departures are a sign of immense disappointment among some employees after the Altman ouster and underscore long-simmering divisions at the ChatGPT creator about AI 'safety' practices, ” the report noted.

OpenAI didn’t comment about Altman discussing a return with the board.

OpenAI’s current board consists of chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, former GeoSim Systems CEO Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner, the director of strategy at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology.

Sutskever, who also co-founded OpenAI, was instrumental in the ousting of Altman, according to reports.

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