Sam Altman, the former CEO of OpenAI, was reportedly ready to publicly apologize during the recent episode that led to his ouster from the company. According to Bloomberg sources, Altman offered to apologize for misrepresenting some board members’ views in conversations related to a director’s removal. However, the board was concerned that this apology would give the impression that it was the sole reason for his dismissal. Altman’s removal was the result of various issues surrounding his strategic maneuvers and perceived lack of transparency with the board. The OpenAI board is currently conducting an independent investigation into the incident.
The decision to remove Altman sparked controversy within Microsoft, OpenAI’s major investor with a 49% stake in the company. Microsoft executives, including CEO Satya Nadella, were reportedly blindsided by the board’s decision. The New Yorker reported that Nadella reached out to an OpenAI board member to seek clarification after recovering from the initial shock. It was revealed that Microsoft was intentionally excluded from the decision-making process, despite initially voting to expel Altman as CEO. Some individuals within Microsoft expressed their disbelief at the board’s actions, fearing it could have a detrimental impact on OpenAI’s development of ChatGPT.
OpenAI’s new board, consisting of chair Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo, is determined to investigate the circumstances surrounding Altman’s departure. They aim to improve the company’s governance structure and ensure the development and release of safe and useful AI. An OpenAI spokesperson expressed their anticipation for the findings of the board’s independent review.
Altman’s removal from OpenAI was prompted by concerns raised by senior executives within the company who felt that the former CEO lacked transparency. As the investigation continues, the focus remains on the progress of OpenAI and its mission to advance AI technology responsibly.