In a big setback to efforts being made by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, it has been revealed that Sam Altman will not be returning to OpenAI. This was revealed by The Information's Jessica Lessin in an X post. Notably, talks were ongoing between the OpenAI board, Altman, Microsoft and the investors on getting the former CEO back. It was also revealed that the interim CEO, Mira Murati was making efforts to get Altman back to OpenAI.
The sticking point in the entire discussion was that Altman was insisting the OpenAI board resign and a new one be appointed. He had seemingly given a 5PM deadline yesterday and one today for that to happen and he would return thereafter. While yesterday's deadline passed without any adverse impact, today's is still current, but this new detail has come well before that, adding to the uncertainty.
As things stand, at OpenAI, the board looks to be standing alone with investors, including Microsoft, aligning with Altman. Not just that, most employees have come out into the public in support of the sacked CEO.
Notably, Altman was sacked by the OpenAI board without much ceremony on a video call. This came as a shock, not just to the public, for whom Altman was the face of AI, but also for investors like Microsoft. There were no consultations done by the board before taking this step. In fact, the board meeting was not even attended by then President Greg Brockman. He resigned thereafter in protest.
Satya Nadella was reportedly very keen for the return of Altman and apart from that, he was also looking at the possibility of a Microsoft representative to come on the OpenAI board, even if it was without any voting rights.
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