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Business News/ Companies / People/  Sam Altman not returning as CEO of OpenAI: Report
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Sam Altman not returning as CEO of OpenAI: Report

Co-founder and board director Ilya Sutskever has been quoted telling staff on November 19 that Altman would not be back.

Sam Altman was reported to be negotiating a deal for his return to OpenAIPremium
Sam Altman was reported to be negotiating a deal for his return to OpenAI

Ousted co-founder Sam Altman will not be returning to ChatGPT parent OpenAI as Chief Executive Officer, despite various rounds of discussions with the Board, The Independent has reported. 

Instead, Emmett Shear – co-founder of Twitch, will take over as Interim CEO, it added.

The report quoted co-founder and board director Ilya Sutskever telling staff on November 19 that Altman would not be back. 

Also Read: ‘First and the last time…’: 'Sacked' Sam Altman Shows OpenAI 'Guest ID Card' Amid Talks of his return

Many expect to see a mass exodus of employees from the company, with staff expected to join Altman's eventual new venture.

Expectations for Altman's return

As per multiple reports during the weekend, Altman was likely to return to the company amid immense pressure on the board to reinstate him. A report by The Verge cited sources suggesting the board had initially consented to resign and permit Altman and Brockman's return, but this agreement seems to have faltered.

The board missed a crucial 5 PM PT deadline on November 18 and is facing another 5 PM deadline today. Should Altman opt to depart and establish a new venture, it is anticipated that these employees would likely follow suit, the Verge report added.

Also Read: ‘Sam and I are shocked by what board did today’, says ex-OpenAI President Greg Brockman

Earlier Bloomberg cited sources saying that there is a possibility of Altman returning to the company. A potential scenario being contemplated involved the current OpenAI board members stepping down imminently, although no definitive decisions have been reached, multiple sources told the news agency.

According to a Reuters report, Microsoft, which owns a 49 percent stake in OpenAI, is likely to take a role on the board if Altman returns to the company. The company, led by Satya Nadella, could either take a seat on the board or as a non-voting observer.

Meanwhile, several media reports suggest that Microsoft and Satya Nadella were blindsided by OpenAI's decision to oust Sam Altman as CEO. Satya Nadella is said to have offered Altman his full support in his bid to return to the company and in any of his future endeavours.

Also Read: Who is on the OpenAI Board that fired Sam Altman? Take a look

Events so far

The company said an internal review highlighted Altman's lack of consistent transparency in communications with the board of directors. Consequently, the board lost confidence in his ability to lead OpenAI effectively.

Following the announcement, Altman expressed gratitude for his time at OpenAI, acknowledging its transformative impact on both himself and potentially the world. He hinted at more information about his future plans to come.

“I loved my time at OpenAI. it was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. Most of all I loved working with such talented people. will have more to say about what’s next later," Altman wrote on X.

Also Read: ‘Sam Altman is a hero…’: Eric Schmidt, Brian Chesky, other leaders praise Altman's contribution to AI

Meanwhile, co-founder and President, Greg Brockman, also announced his departure from the company. Brockman, in a message on X, expressed pride in the accomplishments achieved.

"I’m super proud of what we’ve all built together since starting in my apartment 8 years ago. We’ve been through tough & great times together, accomplishing so much despite all the reasons it should have been impossible. But based on today’s news, I quit." he wrote.

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Updated: 20 Nov 2023, 11:36 AM IST
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