San Francisco – November 20, 2023
In a surprising turn of events, OpenAI investors are reportedly advocating for the reinstatement of Sam Altman as CEO, just one day after he was ousted by the board, according to sources familiar with the matter as reported by CNBC.
Microsoft, Tiger Global, and venture firm Thrive Capital, recognized as key supporters of OpenAI, are leading the charge to reinstate Altman in a leadership capacity, according to insider sources. In a parallel effort, Sequoia Capital, a significant player in the investment arena, has extended its support to Altman.
This backing extends not only to Altman but also to former OpenAI president Greg Brockman, affirming support for their future endeavors. Whether this entails a return to OpenAI or the creation of a new startup, Sequoia Capital is committed to standing behind Altman and Brockman in their next ventures. Sequoia has informed Microsoft of its backing for the efforts to reinstate Altman and Brockman.
While The Verge initially reported on the talks surrounding Altman’s potential return, it was noted that Altman remains “ambivalent” about reassuming the CEO position and may seek governance changes if he does. Altman has not yet responded to CNBC’s request for comment, and similarly, Thrive declined to provide a statement. Microsoft opted not to comment on the ongoing developments.
The shockwaves from OpenAI’s announcement on Friday, which disclosed Altman’s removal and the interim appointment of technology Chief Mira Murati as CEO, reverberated across Silicon Valley.
OpenAI, having gained immense popularity since the launch of its ChatGPTchatbot, has become a prominent player in the generative artificial intelligence market. Recent reports even indicated discussions about selling employee shares at a staggering $86 billion valuation.
Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI with a closely aligned technology partnership, expressed surprise at the sudden change in leadership. In addition to Altman’s ousting, the company also removed Brockman from his board leadership position, although he is set to remain as president. In response, Brockman later announced his resignation from the company.
As discussions unfold behind closed doors, the outcome of these efforts to bring back Altman could reshape the future trajectory of OpenAI and the broader landscape of artificial intelligence innovation. The potential return of Altman and the support from major investors signal a dynamic and evolving chapter for one of Silicon Valley’s most influential entities.