Sam Altman retakes OpenAI helm with a reshaped board featuring Microsoft visibility
Microsoft has secured a non-voting observer seat on OpenAI's new board.
Sam Altman has officially returned as OpenAI’s CEO, one week after the AI company reached an agreement in principle to reinstate him, with new changes to the board composition granting Microsoft a seat on the table.
Altman outlined three primary objectives that OpenAI will be focusing on immediately. Firstly, the emphasis is on advancing the research plan and bolstering efforts toward full-stack safety, which have always been pivotal to the organization’s work.
Secondly, there’s a solid commitment to enhancing existing products and catering to customers’ needs, aiming to ensure that the wider population can experience the benefits of AI and actively contribute to its evolution.
The third priority on Altman’s agenda involves significant structural changes, including establishing a new, diverse board. These changes aim to enhance governance practices and oversee an independent review of recent events.
Microsoft gets a role in OpenAI’s new board.
The newly restructured board will feature notable figures like Bret Taylor, CEO of Salesforce, as its chair.
Additionally, Larry Summers, the former U.S. Treasury Secretary, and Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora, are among the individuals on the board. Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI, has secured a non-voting observer seat.
This strategic move allows Microsoft to gain deeper insights into OpenAI’s operations, although it won’t hold an official vote. The technological company holds a substantial 49% stake in the for-profit entity and was left with eggs on its face after OpenAI’s former board’s shock dismissal of Altman.
Since then, there have been indications that Microsoft would play a role in the composition of OpenAI’s new board.
Board chair Taylor said:
“OpenAI is a more important institution than ever before. ChatGPT has made artificial intelligence a part of daily life for hundreds of millions of people. Its popularity has made AI – its benefits and its risks – central to virtually every conversation about the future of governments, business, and society.”
Meanwhile, Microsoft has yet to appoint a representative for this observer position as of press time.