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Turmoil at OpenAI: Investors Rally to Reinstate Sam Altman as CEO

In a dramatic turn of events, OpenAI investors are urgently working to bring back Sam Altman as CEO, just a day after his unexpected removal by the company’s board. According to sources from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal, intense negotiations are underway, with Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor, pressing for a resolution before Monday’s stock market opening.

The Verge has reported that Altman is in the final stages of discussions, setting a 5 p.m. PT deadline for Sunday to iron out the details. This sudden push to reinstate Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, has taken many by surprise, including key stakeholders at Microsoft.

Investors, notably Thrive Capital, are actively persuading OpenAI’s board to reverse their decision. Altman’s dismissal was announced with the board stating a lack of confidence in his leadership and questioning his candor.

As negotiations continue, Altman has reportedly laid down his conditions for returning, including the formation of a new board. Interim CEO Mira Murati, Chief Strategy Officer Jason Kwon, and Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap are among those advocating for Altman’s reinstatement and a board overhaul.

However, selecting new board members has proven to be a stumbling block. Former co-CEO of Salesforce Inc., Bret Taylor, is one name being considered for the new board, with executives from Microsoft also in the mix.

Adding another layer to this unfolding drama, Altman is said to be considering the option of starting a new venture with former OpenAI employees, as per a report from The Information.

As the tech world reels from these developments, Mira Murati, OpenAI’s Chief Technology Officer and former Tesla employee, has been appointed as interim CEO. Additionally, Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s president and co-founder, announced his resignation in a post on X (formerly known as Twitter), expressing shock and sadness over the board’s decision.

Brockman, too, is reportedly in talks with board members about a possible return to the AI startup.

This saga at OpenAI not only highlights the volatile nature of tech leadership but also underscores the high stakes in the rapidly evolving AI industry. As investors, employees, and the wider tech community await the outcome of these discussions, the future direction of OpenAI hangs in the balance. The decisions made in the coming hours and days could significantly shape the trajectory of one of the most influential companies in artificial intelligence.