Friday night’s events continue to reverberate through newsfeeds, bringing new details literally every hour. The hasty resignation of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was so devastating to the company that the board began considering the possibility of his return.
After the agency summarized on Friday evening all data available at the time about the circumstances surrounding Altman’s resignation Bloomberg He cited the conflict in company management as the main reason for the dismissal of the general director. According to sources, Sam Altman disagreed with the members of the board of directors on many issues related to the company’s development strategy. The board was also unhappy with Altman’s alleged efforts to find investors for his own initiatives, which included the development of hardware accelerators for artificial intelligence systems and the creation of a subsidiary that would develop a device at least comparable to the launch of the Smartphone in its revolutionary nature for humanity. OpenAI’s board didn’t like the fact that Altman was negotiating with potential investors on his own initiative, hiding behind the company’s name.
In many ways, Altman’s resignation was facilitated by a conflict with OpenAI’s chief scientific officer Ilya Sutskever, who also helped found the company and is a member of its board. A month before the current events, Sutskever’s powers in the company were limited, which only served as a catalyst for an escalation of the conflict not only with Altman, but also with Greg Brockman, who served as chairman and president. While preparing Altman’s resignation, Sutskever managed to win over some members of the board, which consisted of six people along with the listed executives.
The board’s announcement of Altman’s resignation came as a business surprise. On Thursday evening, Sutzkever invited the CEO to a video conference with the rest of the board, except Chairman Greg Brockman, which took place on Friday afternoon. It was Sutskever who clarified that the OpenAI board was preparing Altman’s resignation and that this information would be made public soon. Brockman was later informed that he would be removed from his board position but could retain his position as president of the company. Brockman himself, as already known, decided to leave the leadership of OpenAI due to all these events.
Microsoft, OpenAI’s lead investor, was informed of Altman’s resignation within minutes. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has reached out to Altman and expressed his unconditional support for any of his possible future ventures, according to sources. Microsoft only publicly announced its willingness to continue its long-term collaboration with OpenAI.
According to Bloomberg, several weeks before these events, transactions for the sale of OpenAI shares were being prepared by the employees of the company, whose capitalization was estimated at $ 86 billion. Now they have been at least suspended pending further certainty, although some investors managed to abandon their intentions to buy shares.
Finally, the most current intrigue is the message The edge about the Board’s willingness to explore the possibility of Sam Altman returning to the CEO position. He has no objection to this, but would like to eliminate the existing contradictions in the leadership. As a result, the company could change the composition of its board under pressure from investors. If Altman’s resignation cannot be won back, there is a risk of a split in the company; some of the key employees could join him in a new startup. It is obvious that OpenAI investors have no interest in this and are therefore trying to help resolve the conflict. According to The Verge, board members even agreed to step down and allow Altman and Brockman to return, but were unable to officially seal their decision by the agreed date. At that point, OpenAI employees had already begun to leave the company, raising the possibility that they would move to a new company that Altman might start. Former CEO Greg Brockman can also provide him with support.