OpenAI brings back Sam Altman to save itself

Together with

The Future. OpenAI has given Silicon Valley major whiplash with the reinstatement of Sam Altman — sacrificing its safety-focused board to keep the company alive. But the issue of the original fault lines between Altman and co-founder, chief scientist, and former board member Ilya Sutskever still likely remains (even if Sutskever has recanted his opposition). The future of the public’s confidence in OpenAI may rest in whether the disagreement between business development and societal safety can be addressed… transparently.

Lol never mind
After five days that felt like five years, Sam Altman is back as CEO of OpenAI… but with some major changes at the firm.

  • The entire original board has agreed to resign (except for Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo), replaced by former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor and former US Treasury secretary Larry Summers… with room for six additional members.
  • The compromise rids the unique non-profit/profit organization of the board members that Altman reportedly felt were “overly concerned with safety,” per WSJ, while keeping OpenAI president (and Altman-ally) Greg Brockman off the board as well.
  • Additionally, both sides have agreed to an independent investigation into why Altman was fired — something that’s vexed employees, Silicon Valley, and government regulators, especially as the original board declined to give specifics.
  • And although Microsoft offered Altman, Brockman, and anyone at OpenAI the option to start a new AI firm with its backing, CEO Satya Nadella is still a winner — he pushed for Altman to be reinstated, protected his investment, and will likely land a board seat.

OpenAI’s fortunes are already righting — investors are satisfied, clients are mostly done inquiring about taking their business to rivals, and the 95% of employees who vowed to defect if Altman wasn’t reinstated are staying put (ensuring the company doesn’t collapse). Heck, even the employee-share sale led by Thrive Capital, valuing the firm at $86 billion, is back on track

Years from now, this whole ordeal may either feel like one of ChatGPT’s infamous hallucinations… or a canary in a coal mine for OpenAI’s best intentions to police itself failing to overcome the power of ambition.

David Vendrell

Born and raised a stone’s-throw away from the Everglades, David left the Florida swamp for the California desert. Over-caffeinated, he stares at his computer too long either writing the TFP newsletter or screenplays. He is repped by Anonymous Content.


No design skills needed! 🪄✨

Canva Pro is the design software that makes design simple, convenient, and reliable. Create what you need in no time! Jam-packed with time-saving tools that make anyone look like a professional designer.

Create amazing content quickly with Canva