Former Obama and Clinton official economist Larry Summers will join the new, redesigned OpenAI board, while the business welcomes CEO Sam Altman, who was fired by the previous board, a few days ago.
A significant shift in the board’s composition is suggested by the appointment of former Clinton Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, the retention of Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, and former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor as chair.
We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo.
We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this.
— OpenAI (@OpenAI) November 22, 2023
After Sam Altman was unceremoniously ousted as CEO of OpenAI last Friday, the company’s former board of directors struck an agreement “in principle” for Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO along with a new “initial” slate of board members like Larry Summers, Adam D’Angelo, and Bret Taylor.
This announcement was made by OpenAI at about one in the morning Eastern Time on Tuesday. (He will succeed Emmett Shear, the acting CEO who held the position for the shortest time, together with Mira Murati, the CTO of OpenAI.)
Former members of the board Helen Toner, Ilya Sutskever, and Tasha McCauley are out as a result of the reorganization. Requests for comment regarding their future with the company that were submitted outside of regular business hours were not immediately answered by OpenAI.
According to The Verge, the three new members (Larry Summers, Adam D’Angelo, and Bret Taylor) primary responsibility will be to evaluate applicants for a larger board that might include up to nine members. According to the publication, Altman and Microsoft both want a place at the table.
Greg Brockman, the former president of the company, announced his return to X, writing, Coming back to OpenAI and starting to work tonight. Brockman had resigned following Altman’s unexpected dismissal.
The most recent development coincides with reports that hundreds of OpenAI employees had been threatening to quit after the business fired Altman on Friday due to a power dispute with the board, a dramatic event that shocked Silicon Valley.
But if a Verge article is accurate, Altman and a Microsoft executive will probably be among the final nine members of the OpenAI board. Before Tuesday’s development, Microsoft was apparently considering whether to pursue a board seat, which may draw regulatory attention considering the business’s connection to OpenAI. Evidently, the tech behemoth believes the governance and monitoring guarantees are worthwhile.
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. when i decided to join msft on sun evening, it was clear that was the best path for me and the team. with the new board and w satya’s support, i’m…
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 22, 2023
CEO of Microsoft Corp. (MSFT), Satya Nadella, revealed Altman and Brockman’s hiring at the software behemoth on Monday. Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Twitch, tweeted that he has accepted OpenAI’s invitation to take on the role of interim CEO at that same moment.
Larry Summers’ Experience
Larry Summers is a seasoned leader with backgrounds in politics, corporate boards, and Harvard University administration. At the moment, Larry Summers is a board member of Skillsoft, a software company, and Block, the company that created Cash App.
Bret Taylor’s Experience
Taylor holds two computer science degrees from Stanford University and has a wealth of experience working for tech companies. Last year, he announced his resignation as Salesforce’s co-CEO. Taylor founded and oversaw Quip, a collaboration tool that Salesforce later purchased for $750 million. Taylor also served as Facebook’s chief technical officer during its initial public offering.
Adam D’Angelo’s Experience
The only current board member to remain on is D’Angelo. In addition to serving as the CEO and co-founder of Quora, a question-and-answer website, he was Facebook’s CTO before joining the OpenAI board in 2018.
He and other students, including Mark Zuckerberg, created music recommendation software at Phillips Exeter Academy during his high school years. He started the questions-and-answers website Quora in 2009 after working as chief technology officer at Facebook following his graduation from the California Institute of Technology.