Sam Altman, recently dismissed as CEO of OpenAI, is in discussions about a potential return to the company, even as he explores starting a new artificial intelligence (AI) venture. This development comes just a day after his unexpected removal by the board, a decision that has caused a stir in the tech community. Altman is reportedly in talks with OpenAI executives about enhancing the company’s governance, while simultaneously considering the establishment of a new AI company with some of OpenAI’s core researchers and his supporters.
The situation remains uncertain, with key details undisclosed due to confidentiality. OpenAI has not responded to requests for comments on the matter. Meanwhile, OpenAI investors, including major supporter Microsoft, are contemplating strategies to manage the fallout. They fear a significant talent drain if Altman does not return, with some sources suggesting the board might be persuaded to reinstate him.
Vinod Khosla of Khosla Ventures, an early investor in OpenAI, expressed support for Altman’s return but is open to backing his future endeavors. Microsoft, holding a significant stake in OpenAI, declined to comment on the situation.
The unexpected leadership change has sparked concern among OpenAI’s employees and stakeholders, particularly regarding the impact on an impending $86 billion share sale. OpenAI, known for launching the groundbreaking ChatGPT, has been at the forefront of generative AI technology, influencing various sectors globally. The company’s future direction and leadership remain in a state of flux, with potential repercussions for the AI industry.