Sam Altman Is Back At OpenAI, But Questions Remain As To Why He Was Fired
by upasana sarbajna Business 23 November 2023
Sam Altman is coming back to take the lead at OpenAI in less than a week after his surprising firing, which had started a tug of war for his capabilities, left the organization in dismay, and laid plain deep division of the board over the mission of one of the most valuable startups in the world.
The new interim board for OpenAI, which will not be including Altman at the outset, will be headed by Bret Taylor, who is the previous co-CEO of Salesforce Inc. The added directors include Adam D’Angelo, the CEO and co-founder of Quora Inc., and Larry Summers, the former secretary of the US Treasury.
Altman was fired on Friday after he had a clash with the board over his wish to convert OpenAI from a nonprofit organization that is focused on the scientific exploration of AI into a full-fledged business that develops products, attracts potential customers, and lines up the funds that are needed to power all such AI tools. The members of the previous board showed concerns about all the potential damage that powerful and unchecked AI can cause.
The first job of the interim board will be to find new directors who may strike a more efficient balance between the business imperative of OpenAI and the need to safeguard the public from all such tools that have the capability of developing content that gives misinformation, worsens inequality, or makes it easy for the bad actors to inflict violence.
The newly formed board is to reflect better diversity, claimed many people, which also includes Ashley Mayer, who is the CEO of the venture capital organization Coalition Operators. “I’m thrilled for OpenAI employees that Sam is back, but it feels very 2023 that our happy ending is three white men on a board charged with ensuring AI benefits all of humanity,” she added in a note. “Hoping there’s more to come soon.”