Sam Altman, founder of OpenAI, has returned as CEO after he was ousted by the board of the company he started, for allegedly not disclosing potential interest in creating a chip manufacturing company to compete with the likes of Nvidia. This comes after pressure from majority shareholder Microsoft, and the threat of almost 700 engineers up and leaving if Sam didn’t return and the existing board resigned.
The removal of Sam, the visionary behind AI development, as OpenAI’s CEO could have a significant impact on the future of AI and society.
Formed in 2015 with Elon Musk, OpenAI is owned by a trust, and functions as an independent non-profit organisation to make AI accessible to the world. The trust appoints the directors as opposed to a normal company where shareholders decide. Sam, considered a visionary by his peers and fellow OpenAI engineers, made such an impact on revolutionising AI, that Microsoft invested $10 billion in the company and obtained 49% of the shares.
The AI guru returns to oversee the new board of directors which includes former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers.
The return of Sam Altman is a big win for Microsoft which relies heavily on OpenAI for its AI technology in the AI revolution. It has protected its investment and prevented the bulk of its OpenAI engineers from abandoning ship.
Altman stated he was looking forward to returning to OpenAI and building on their strong partnership with Microsoft. Microsoft shares edged higher at the news of Altman’s victory and return to back to business as usual.