Sam Altman: OpenAI boss welcomed back as CEO just days after his surprise sacking at tech company

Sam Altman's sacking came as a shock to staff and investors at OpenAI, which develops ChatGPT, with a campaign to bring him back as CEO now successful
Sam Altman has been welcomed back as CEO of OpenAI, just days after he was sacked to the surprise of staff and investors. (Credit: AFP via Getty Images)Sam Altman has been welcomed back as CEO of OpenAI, just days after he was sacked to the surprise of staff and investors. (Credit: AFP via Getty Images)
Sam Altman has been welcomed back as CEO of OpenAI, just days after he was sacked to the surprise of staff and investors. (Credit: AFP via Getty Images)

American tech entrepreneur Sam Altman has been welcomed back into the fold at OpenAI just days after his surprise sacking shocked the industry.

Altman, 38, was sacked as CEO by the San Francisco-based tech company on Friday November 17 in a move which stumped both OpenAI staff and its investors. The move saw almost all of the 750-strong workforce threaten to quit unless Altman was reinstated as chief executive.

A new deal has been met between Altman and the company to bring him back as CEO. A statement from OpenAi posted on X (formerly Twitter) read: “We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo. We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this."

Altman also commented on the new development on X. He said: “I love OpenAI, and everything I’ve done over the past few days has been in service of keeping this team and its mission together. I’m looking forward to returning to OpenAI.”

His sacking last week saw the company's co-founder Greg Brockman resign in solidarity. This threw the AI-tech company, which develops the popular ChatGPT platform, into chaos.

Microsoft, one of OpenAI's biggest investors, pushed for the company to reverse its decision to sack Altman. They also said that in the case that he would be permanently fired, he would be in line for a job at Microsoft, along with most of the 750 members of staff threatened to quit unless Altman was reinstated as part of a "new advanced AI research team".

Microsoft boss Satya Nadella said following Altman's return: "We are encouraged by the changes to the OpenAI board. We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance. Sam, Greg, and I have talked and agreed they have a key role to play along with the OAI leadership team in ensuring OAI continues to thrive and build on its mission. We look forward to building on our strong partnership and delivering the value of this next generation of AI to our customers and partners."

Brockman also confirmed that he was returning to OpenAI following Altman's return. He said on X: "Returning to OpenAI & getting back to coding tonight."

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