HomeWinBuzzer NewsOpenAI Announces Sam Altman’s Return to the Board After Failed Coup Investigation

OpenAI Announces Sam Altman’s Return to the Board After Failed Coup Investigation

OpenAI reinstated CEO Sam Altman after an investigation cleared him. The board added new members and aims to improve transparency.


An independent investigation has concluded that 's actions as CEO of did not warrant his removal from the organization. This decision comes after an attempted coup in November, aimed to oust him from his position. The investigation, led by the law firm WilmerHale, delved into the circumstances by reviewing over 30,000 documents and interviewing numerous board members and employees. The firm ultimately advised that both Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman are fit to lead OpenAI, signaling a significant boardroom victory for Altman.

Board Restructuring

In light of these findings, Bret Taylor, the chair of OpenAI's board, announced not only Altman's return but also the addition of three new board members: Sue Desmond-Hellmann, Nicole Seligman, and Fidji Simo. These individuals bring a wealth of experience from their tenures as top executives at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sony, and Instacart, respectively. They will join an expanded leadership team, including Taylor, Altman, Adam D'Angelo, and Larry Summers, tasked with steering OpenAI's nonprofit parent company.

Timeline of Altman's Dismissal and Return 

One of the most public tech boardroom scuffles of recent time, below is a timeline of the Sam Altman leadership saga:

Future Directions

Following the investigation's closure, OpenAI has declared its intention to reinforce its conflict of interest policy and has announced the creation of a whistleblower hotline for employees and contractors to report concerns. During a press briefing, Altman expressed relief over the resolution of the controversy, subtly referencing disagreements with former board members and emphasizing a collective forward focus. Additionally, inquiries about co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, instrumental in the November incident but whose current status remains unspecified, were met with Altman's optimistic anticipation of future collaborations.

The investigation's public summary, however, has drawn criticism for its lack of detailed disclosure, mirroring the initial vague explanation for Altman's abrupt dismissal. It attributed the board's drastic action to a breakdown in trust and relationship but failed to elaborate on specific grievances or incidents.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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