OpenAI made a surprising decision on November 17 by terminating its CEO Sam Altman, who was a prominent figure for the company. The creator of ChatGPT fired Altman due to concerns about his lack of transparency in communicating with the board. This unexpected announcement led to the resignation of Greg Brockman, the company’s president. Unfortunately for OpenAI, reports indicated that its investors, particularly Microsoft led by Satya Nadella, expressed dissatisfaction with Altman’s dismissal and urged the board to reinstate him. The situation worsened when OpenAI employees threatened to leave en masse if Altman and Brockman were not reinstated by 5:00 PM PT, but the deadline has already passed.
There’s still hope, though, as Altman has reportedly extended that deadline, meaning a return to OpenAI could still be in the cards, but it would require the company to take some big steps first. Know all about it.
Sam Altman’s return period extended
According to a report from The Verge, Sam Altman has again set a deadline of 5:00 PM PT, just like yesterday, for OpenAI to announce its return and for board members to resign. Altman is adamant that in order for him to return to OpenAI, the current board has resigned, which would also mean appointing board successors. According to the report, this is the sticking point. To stir things up, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella mediates discussions between Sam Altman, Greg Brockman and the board, but they have reached an impasse.
According to the report, if that deadline passes without a meaningful result, things will move “down a different path.”
But why is Microsoft interested? For the uninitiated, Microsoft is the largest supporter of OpenAI with a share of nearly $10 billion. The company, along with other OpenAI investors such as Thrive Capital and Tiger Global Management, is trying to convince OpenAI’s board to bring Altman back. If Altman returns, Microsoft could also reportedly take a seat on the board – either on OpenAI’s board or as a non-voting board observer.
The report further states that Microsoft would ideally like the Sam Altman-OpenAI saga to end before the stock market opens the next day.