In a surprising turn of events, investors of OpenAI are reportedly advocating for the return of Sam Altman as CEO, just a day after he was ousted by the board. Microsoft, Tiger Global, and venture firm Thrive Capital, among others, are leading this effort, according to anonymous sources. These investors, who have been top backers of OpenAI, are said to be in discussions to reinstate Altman, although the details of these conversations remain confidential.
Notably, Sequoia Capital has also shown support for Altman and former OpenAI president Greg Brockman. They have reportedly been in contact with Altman, offering their assistance with any future endeavors, whether it be rejoining OpenAI or creating a new startup. Furthermore, Sequoia Capital has expressed its endorsement to Microsoft in their efforts to bring back both Altman and Brockman. This show of support highlights the significance of Altman’s role and the potential impact his return could have on OpenAI.
According to reports, Altman himself is purportedly “ambivalent” about returning to his previous post. It is understandable that he would have concerns and requests given the circumstances. Notably, Altman is expected to demand governance changes as a condition of his potential return. While Altman has not yet responded to CNBC’s request for comment, his stance could significantly influence the outcome of the ongoing discussions regarding his future with OpenAI.
OpenAI’s recent announcement regarding the firing of Altman and appointing Mira Murati as interim CEO has caused shockwaves throughout Silicon Valley. Known as the hottest startup in the market since the successful launch of its ChatGPT chatbot, OpenAI’s decision has raised eyebrows among industry insiders. Furthermore, the company’s talks about selling employee shares at an impressive valuation of $86 billion demonstrate the significant influence and potential it holds in the generative artificial intelligence market.
The announcement of Altman’s removal caught Microsoft off guard, considering the company’s substantial investments in OpenAI and its close technology partnership with the startup. Microsoft’s surprise highlights the extent of the internal discussions that took place at OpenAI before arriving at this decision.
Additionally, the company not only ousted Altman but also removed Greg Brockman as the chairman. However, it is worth noting that Brockman will continue to serve as the company’s president. Following his removal, Brockman made a statement later in the day, asserting that he had actually resigned from his position.
As the turmoil surrounding OpenAI’s leadership continues to unfold, all eyes are now on Altman and the investors who are relentlessly pushing for his return. The potential governance changes and Altman’s ambivalence add an intriguing twist to the narrative, leaving the future of OpenAI hanging in the balance. Only time will tell whether Altman will once again take the reins or if OpenAI will embark on a new chapter under different leadership.