Sam Altman and OpenAI’s board have started talks to bring back the former CEO, and Microsoft is discussing governance changes it plans to request from the board, Bloomberg News reported Tuesday, citing sources.
Discussions are taking place between Altman and at least one board member, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, Bloomberg said in a report citing people familiar with the matter.
Altman could return as director in a transitional board and the talks also involve some of the artificial intelligence startup’s investors.
The ChatGPT owner fired Altman on Friday in a surprise move, and before the weekend was over, OpenAI investor Microsoft hired him and Greg Brockman, another co-founder of the startup.
But things seemed fluid, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told the media on Monday: “Wherever Sam is, he’s working with Microsoft” and that the governance at OpenAI needed to change.
The changes Microsoft plans to request from OpenAI’s board could include expanding the size of the board and increasing the experience level required for members, according to Bloomberg.
In addition to Quora’s D’Angelo, as of Friday OpenAI’s four-member board included Tasha McCauley, Helen Toner and OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever.
Microsoft’s deal with OpenAI requires the startup’s board to seek Microsoft approval for a merger, and the software giant will seek to strengthen these protections, according to Bloomberg.
OpenAI did not respond to Reuters requests for comment.
Altman’s ouster sparked an uprising at the company. Nearly all of the more than 700 employees threatened to be fired in a letter demanding the resignation of the board and the reinstatement of Altman and Brockman.
Nadella has said he was open to staff staying at OpenAI or coming to the Windows maker.
Emmett Shear, interim CEO of OpenAI, has told people close to him that he has no intention of staying if the board cannot clearly convey the reason for Altman’s resignation, the Bloomberg report said Tuesday.
Some investors in OpenAI are considering filing suit against the company’s board, sources told Reuters on Monday, as they worry they could lose millions of dollars they had invested due to the possible collapse of the hottest startup in the world. fast-growing generative AI sector.
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