OpenAI board, Altman in talks for return of former CEO

(Reuters) -Sam Altman and OpenAI’s board have opened discussions to bring back the former CEO of the ChatGPT owner, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

Talks are happening between Altman and at least one board member, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, the report said.

Altman could return as a director on a transitional board and the talks also involve some investors of the artificial intelligence startup.

OpenAI did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The company fired Altman in a surprise move on Friday and before the weekend was over, OpenAI investor Microsoft hired him and Greg Brockman, another co-founder of the startup.

But things appeared fluid, as Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella told media on Monday “irrespective of where Sam is, he’s working with Microsoft” and that governance at OpenAI needed to change.

Altman’s ouster started a revolt at the company. Nearly all of its more than 700 employees threatened to quit in a letter demanding the resignation of the board and reinstatement of Altman and Brockman.

Nadella told CNBC he was open to staff staying at OpenAI or coming to the Windows maker.

OpenAI interim CEO Emmett Shear has told people close to the company that he does not plan to stay if the board cannot clearly convey the reason for Altman’s ouster, the Bloomberg report said on Tuesday.

Some investors in OpenAI are considering suing the company’s board, sources told Reuters on Monday, on worries that they could lose millions of dollars they invested with the potential collapse of the hottest startup in the rapidly growing generative AI sector.

Other than Quora’s D’Angelo, OpenAI’s four-person board consisted of Tasha McCauley, Helen Toner and OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever as of Friday.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram and Chavi Mehta in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath and Arun Koyyur)

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