Sam Altman is reportedly considering a return to OpenAI but under specific conditions. He has expressed the desire for a new board and governance structure.
Altman is also said to be exploring the possibility of starting a new company that would bring on former OpenAI employees who left in protest following his ouster.
Altman’s unique governance structure for OpenAI, intentionally designed to grant the board the power to fire him, has become a focal point of the current turmoil.
Unlike traditional tech companies, where CEOs report to a board representing investors, Altman’s setup allowed for decisions to be made without input from major shareholders. This structure played a crucial role in the sudden removal of Altman, despite his financial success for the company.
Major stakeholders, including Microsoft and Thrive Capital, are actively involved in negotiations to reinstate Altman as CEO. Microsoft invested $13 billion in OpenAI and is the primary financial backer. Thrive Capital stands as the second-largest shareholder. Other investors are reportedly supportive of these efforts to bring back Altman.