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Sam Altman to return to OpenAI board of directors| GuyWhoKnowsThings


OpenAI said on Friday that Sam Altman, its high-profile CEO, would rejoin its board more than three months after briefly being expelled from the company.

The move caps a long-awaited report from a law firm hired by OpenAI's board of directors to investigate Mr. Altman and his sudden removal of the company in November. A current board member, Bret Taylor, said the report was complete during a news conference Friday afternoon, but the company did not release it.

“The special committee recommended and the full board expressed its full confidence in Mr. Altman and Mr. Brockman,” Taylor said, referring to Greg Brockman, the company president who resigned in protest after Mr. Altman was ousted. “We are excited and unanimous in our support for Sam and Greg.”

The company said the report found that OpenAI's board of directors acted within its broad discretion to fire Mr. Altman, but also found that his conduct did not require his dismissal. Taylor said the company would continue to expand its board of directors.

Altman returned as CEO just five days after being ousted and agreed to an investigation into his behavior and the board's actions. Two members who voted in favor of his removal agreed to resign; His substitutes, outside the company, supervised the investigation carried out by the WilmerHale law firm.

OpenAI also took steps to address concerns about a lack of diversity on the board by adding three women as directors: Sue Desmond-Hellmann, former CEO of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Nicole Seligman, former general counsel at Sony; and Fidji Simo, CEO of Instacart.

(The New York Times defendant OpenAI and Microsoft in December for copyright infringement of news content related to AI systems).

With the report and the additions to the board of directors, OpenAI leadership hoped to move past the controversy over Altman's ouster. The incident, which threatened the company's future, raised countless questions about his leadership and the company's unusual structure: a nonprofit board overseeing a for-profit company.

By not publishing the report, OpenAI has left many unanswered questions about the San Francisco company. Some experts have questioned whether Altman had too much control over how the investigation was handled.

OpenAI, which was valued at more than 80 billion dollars in its latest round of funding, it is at the forefront of generative AI, technologies that can generate text, images and sounds. Many believe that generative AI could transform the tech industry as profoundly as the web browser did some three decades ago. Others worry that technology could cause serious damagehelping to spread disinformation online, replacing countless jobs, and perhaps even threatening the future of humanity.

After OpenAI launched the online chatbot ChatGPT in late 2022, Altman became the face of the industry's push toward generative AI. About a year later, the board unexpectedly fired him, saying it no longer had confidence in his ability to run the company.

The board of directors had been reduced to six people: three founders and three independent members. Along with the three outsiders, one of the founders, Ilya Sutskever, who is the company's chief scientist, voted to remove Altman, saying, without giving specific details, that he had not been “consistently truthful in his communications.” .

Brockman, another founder, resigned from the company in protest. Days later, Dr. Sutskever said he regretted his decision to remove Mr. Altman and effectively resigned from the board, leaving three independent members in opposition to Mr. Altman.

OpenAI was founded as a nonprofit in 2015, before Altman created a for-profit subsidiary three years later and raised Microsoft's billion dollars. The board of directors of the nonprofit, whose stated mission is to develop AI for the benefit of humanity, maintained full control over the new subsidiary. Investors, including Microsoft, had no legal say in who ran the company.

In an effort to resolve the turmoil and return Altman to the company, he and the board of directors agreed to replace two members with Taylor, a former Salesforce executive, and Lawrence H. Summers, a former Treasury secretary. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Summers were accused of overseeing the investigation into Mr. Altman and his dismissal.

The new board faced criticism from corporate governance experts due to its lack of diversity. Taylor told The New York Times in November that he would fill out the board by adding “diverse and qualified candidates” who were “a representative group of people who really represent the fullness of what this mission represents, which will encompass technology.” , AI Safety Policy.”


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