An anonymous reader cites a TechCrunch report: OpenAI’s board is reportedly in talks with Sam Altman, former president of Y Combinator and co-founder of OpenAI, return to OpenAI as CEO starting this week. This is what Bloomberg says, who, in a brief this morning — citing sources familiar with the matter — said discussions were underway between Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, one of OpenAI’s current board members, and Altman — and may -also be other members of the board of directors. According to Bloomberg, the board member(s) and Altman are discussing a number of possible scenarios that could occur. In one, Altman would return as director of a transitional board. In another — or perhaps the same — former Salesforce Inc. co-CEO Bret Taylor could serve as a director on a new board. (Taylor’s name was floated as a potential future OpenAI board member in some reporting over the weekend.)
Investors are also participating in the negotiations, Bloomberg reports, with Thrive Capital, Khosla Ventures, Tiger Global Management and Sequoia Capital aggressively pushing for Altman’s return. The hope is to resolve the management crisis before Thanksgiving, to give OpenAI employees less uncertainty about the state of the company — and to stem the broader bleeding. If Altman returned to OpenAI, he would likely return to his acceptance of Microsoft’s bid to run a new AI research lab at the tech giant with Greg Brockman, the former president of OpenAI, who resigned Friday in protest along with Altman. Altman reportedly demanded “significant” management and governance changes at OpenAI as a condition of its return, a demand shared by many OpenAI supporters, including Microsoft.
Today’s developments follow a memo sent Monday evening by Anna Makanju, OpenAI’s vice president of global affairs, stating that OpenAI management had “intense discussions” with the board of directors, Altman and interim CEO Emmett Shear, who took over from OpenAI CTO Mira Murati, to try to reunite the company. Shear was reportedly left in the dark for the most part, telling Bloomberg sources that he had no intention of sticking around if the board couldn’t clearly communicate the reasons for the abrupt dismissal of Altman. Shear previously said in a memo to employees on Sunday that his first task would be “to hire an independent investigator to dig deeper into the entire process that led to this point and generate a comprehensive report.”