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  • Voltaire Staff

Sam Altman inducted into OpenAI Board again

OpenAI Chief Executive Sam Altman will be returning to the board alongside three new directors, the foremost AI company has said.

The decision, which was announced Friday, comes after an investigation conducted by law firm WilmerHale into the circumstances surrounding Altman's previous dismissal in November.

Following the investigation's conclusion, OpenAI has implemented new governance regulations and reinforced its conflict of interest policy. The board unanimously expressed its support for Altman's leadership.

WilmerHale's investigation determined that Altman's removal did not stem from concerns regarding OpenAI's financial stability, product safety, or any other related issues, reported Reuters.

"Instead it was a consequence of a breakdown in the relationship and loss of trust between the prior Board and Mr. Altman," OpenAI wrote while describing the law firm's findings.

OpenAI announced on its blog post, "We’re announcing three new members to our Board of Directors as a first step towards our commitment to expansion: Dr. Sue Desmond-Hellmann, former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nicole Seligman, former EVP and General Counsel at Sony Corporation and Fidji Simo, CEO and Chair of Instacart. Additionally, Sam Altman, CEO, will rejoin the OpenAI Board of Directors."

They will now join existing board members such as Adam D'Angelo, CEO of Quora, former US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and Bret Taylor, former co-CEO of Salesforce.

Employees, investors, and OpenAI's major financial supporter, Microsoft, were taken aback by Altman's sudden removal in November, which was swiftly overturned within a matter of days.

Altman welcomed the new board members in a post on X, "I learned a lot from this experience. one think i'll say now: when I believed a former board member was harming openai through some of their actions, I should have handled that situation with more grace and care. I apologize for this, and I wish i had done it differently. i assume a genuine belief in the crucial importance of getting agi right from everyone involved."

He added, "We have important work in front of us."

According to OpenAI WilmerHale found that the earlier board believed then that its actions would mitigate internal management challenges and did not anticipate that its actions would destabilise the company.

OpenAI also announced new corporate governance guidelines, a whistleblower hotline, and a conflict-of-interest policy. However, specifics on these measures were sparse.

Following Altman's abrupt firing and subsequent return as CEO, concerns about potential misconduct and existential risks became rife.

His reinstatement followed threats of mass employee departure unless he was restored, leading to discussions on the company's governance and the formation of a new board chaired by Bret Taylor.






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