The weirdest story in the tech industry just got weirder. Four days after being fired, Sam Altman is returning to OpenAI and has been reinstated as CEO, the company announced Tuesday.
In addition, former president Greg Brockman, who quit the company in protest after Altman’s ouster, announced he will also be returning.
“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 said in a statement on X, the social media network formerly known as Twitter.
“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 looking forward to returning to openai, and building on our strong partnership with msft,” Altman wrote in his own statement, quoted above exactly as it was written.
Soon after the announcement, Brockman said, “Returning to OpenAI and getting back to coding tonight,” which the official OpenAI account subsequently quote-tweeted
Altman was fired on Friday due to what the company’s board said was a lack of candidness in communications with the them. Brockman, cofounder and president of OpenAI, quit just hours after news of Altman’s outster broke. Former chief technology officer Mira Murati was named interim CEO only to be replaced as interim CEO on Monday with ex-Twitch CEO Emmett Shear.
There was significant pushback in the company over the firing, with even Murati threatening to quit if Altman wasn’t brought back.
In between being fired and returning to the company, Altman accepted a job with Microsoft, which invested billions into the AI company, to build “a new advanced AI research team.” Altman’s statement didn’t clarify whether that’s changed.