Sam Altman sets 5PM deadline for OpenAI board; Satya Nadella's Microsoft bats on his behalf

Sam Altman has set a new deadline for his return to OpenAI, but he is insisting that the existing board step down and appoint successors. Know all about this latest development in the Sam Altman-OpenAI saga.

| Updated on: Nov 20 2023, 10:33 IST
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman
Sam Altman is open to coming back to OpenAI, as per the reports. (AFP)
OpenAI CEO Sam Altman
Sam Altman is open to coming back to OpenAI, as per the reports. (AFP)

In a shocking turn of events on November 17, OpenAI fired its CEO Sam Altman, who was also the face of the company. The ChatGPT creator sacked Altman saying that he has not been “consistently candid in his communications with the board”. Following this abrupt announcement, Greg Brockman, the president of the company, also resigned from his post. However, things did not bode well for OpenAI as reports claimed that its investors, namely, the Satya Nadella-led Microsoft, weren't happy with Altman's sacking, and asked the board to bring him back. To make matters worse, the company's employees also threatened a mass exodus if Altman and Brockman weren't brought back before 5:00 PM PT, but the deadline has long passed.

However, there is still hope as Altman has reportedly extended this deadline, meaning a return to OpenAI could still be on the cards, but it would involve major steps being taken by the company first. Know all about it.

Sam Altman's return deadline extended

According to a report by The Verge, Sam Altman has again set a 5:00 PM PT deadline, just like yesterday, for OpenAI to announce his return and for the board members to quit. Altman is adamant that for him to come back to OpenAI, the existing board must step down, a decision which would also involve the board appointing their successors. This is the sticking point, as per the report. To simmer things down, Microsoft's CEO Satya Nadella is mediating the talks between Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, and the board, but they have reached an impasse.

As per the report, if this deadline passes without any meaningful outcome, things will take “a different path”.

But why is Microsoft interested? For the unaware, Microsoft is OpenAI's biggest backer, with a stake of nearly $10 billion. The company, along with other OpenAI investors such as Thrive Capital and Tiger Global Management, is trying to convince the OpenAI board to bring back Altman. If Altman returns, Microsoft could also reportedly take a seat on the board - either as OpenAI's board of directors or as a board observer without voting power.

The report further states that Microsoft would ideally like the Sam Altman-OpenAI saga to come to an end before the stock market opens the next day.

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First Published Date: 20 Nov, 10:33 IST