Sam Altman reinstated to OpenAI board

Key Points:

  • OpenAI CEO Sam Altman returned to the board of directors after investigation found no wrongdoing
  • Three new board members added: Sue Desmond-Hellmann, Nicole Seligman, and Fidji Simo
  • Investigation found a breakdown in trust led to Altman’s ousting, unrelated to product safety concerns

Summary:

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has returned to the company’s board of directors after an investigation cleared him of any wrongdoing. This move follows Altman’s firing three months ago, which caused turmoil at the artificial intelligence firm known for ChatGPT. Three new board members have been added – Sue Desmond-Hellmann, Nicole Seligman, and Fidji Simo – bringing the total to eight. Only Adam D’Angelo, the founder of Quora, voted to oust Altman.

 

OpenAI’s internal investigation, conducted by WilmerHale, cited a breakdown in trust between Altman and the prior board as the catalyst for his dismissal. The board believed removing Altman would address internal management issues but did not anticipate the destabilizing impact of his firing.

 

The investigation, encompassing numerous interviews and extensive documentation, did not link Altman’s removal to product safety concerns. This refutes speculation that Altman was ousted to prevent a dangerous AI algorithm from being released. Altman acknowledged a lesson learned from a trust issue with a former board member, widely assumed to be Helen Toner, an AI ethics expert who supported his firing.

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