OpenAI board that fired Sam Altman ‘replaced’. CEO’s X post on sole survivor

Following Sam Altman’s shock return as chief executive of OpenAI late Tuesday, the board that fired him from his role in the company, a ChatGPT-maker, has been almost entirely replaced following a rebellion by employees, news agency AFP reported. The only survivor in the boardroom in the new Altman era is Adam D’Angelo, the CEO of question-and-answer site Quora.

Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora.(Source: Quora)

On Friday morning, Altman said on social media X said that he “spent a really nice few hours with D’Angelo”.

“just spent a really nice few hours with @adamdangelo. happy thanksgiving from our families to yours!” Altman wrote.

OpenAI’s previous board consisted of entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, Helen Toner, director of strategy at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, as well as D’Angelo, who also sits on the new board.

The board fired Altman last week with little explanation and attempted to move on by naming an interim CEO twice. However, pressure from Microsoft – and the 38-year-old’s strong loyalty among the 700-plus OpenAI employees that caused nearly all of them to threaten to leave the company – led to Altman’s reinstatement as of Wednesday.

OpenAI’s new board will boast more experience at the top level and strong ties to both the US government and Wall Street, news agency Reuters reported.

The AFP report earlier claimed that D’Angelo will be joined by ex-Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor and by former US treasury secretary and president of Harvard University, Larry Summers.

In Summers, Altman will find a seasoned economist and well-known figure in Washington, who has spoken of both the dangers and opportunities of ChatGPT for the “cognitive classes.”

“ChatGPT is gonna replace what doctors do, hearing symptoms and making diagnoses, before it changes what nurses do,” Summers told Bloomberg News earlier this year.

Taylor also played a key role in forcing through Elon Musk’s $44 billion purchase of Twitter as a director.

Summers, who also sits on the board of Jack Dorsey’s fintech company Block, has in recent months been vocal about the potential job losses and disruption that could be caused by artificial intelligence.

“ChatGPT is coming for the cognitive class. It’s going to replace what doctors do,” he said in a post on X in April.

OpenAI on X said it was “collaborating to figure out the details” of the new board.

While Microsoft declined to comment, Summers and OpenAI did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Sutskever, Altman and Taylor could not be immediately reached for comment, Reuter reported.

Some analysts say the management fiasco will ensure that OpenAI executives proceed cautiously, as the high-flying startup will now be subject to more scrutiny. Several noted that companies such as Facebook parent Meta have flourished with a powerful CEO despite concerns about corporate governance.

Neither Altman nor OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman — who quit as company president following Altman’s sacking — will return to the board, which could soon have as many as six additional members, the Wall Street Journal reported.

“I love openai, and everything i’ve done over the past few days has been in service of keeping this team and its mission together,” Altman wrote in a social media post late Tuesday on X, formerly Twitter.

Some media outlets reported that there had been concerns that OpenAI was moving quickly away from its stated mission of “building safe and beneficial artificial general intelligence for the benefit of humanity,” for commercial gain.

However, OpenAI’s interim CEO Emmett Shear, said in a social media post that he had been assured “The board did *not* remove Sam over any specific disagreement on safety,” without elaborating on why Altman had been sacked.

(With inputs from AFP and Reuters)

Leave a Comment