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Will Sam Altman Return to OpenAI? Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Offers Insights

In recent media appearances on CNBC and Bloomberg TV, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella provided insights into the potential return of Sam Altman to OpenAI.

Despite Altman's earlier announcement of joining Microsoft's new AI research team, Nadella conveyed openness to the idea of Altman returning to OpenAI.

Nadella emphasized, "Obviously, we want Sam and Greg to have a fantastic home if they’re not going to be in OpenAI." When questioned about Altman's possible return to OpenAI, Nadella deferred the decision to the OpenAI board, management, and employees, stating,

"That's for the OpenAI board and management and the employees to choose."

These statements align with earlier reports suggesting that Altman's move to Microsoft might not be finalized.

The Verge reported that only two of OpenAI’s three remaining board members need to support Altman's return, following a reported change of heart from OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever.

Nadella also hinted at Microsoft's interest in changes to OpenAI's governance, including investor relations. He noted, "It’s clear something has to change around the governance," expressing a willingness to engage in a dialogue with OpenAI's board on the matter.

The aftermath of Altman's departure from OpenAI has been tumultuous, marked by internal dissent and a CEO search.

OpenAI's management team and backers are vetting candidates for a potential board replacement, while the company's rank-and-file, including over 700 employees, has signed a letter calling for the board's resignation and Altman's reinstatement.

Emmett Shear, co-founder of Twitch, has been appointed as OpenAI's CEO, a choice met with internal controversy.

Employees reportedly expressed discontent, and Shear has committed to hiring an independent investigator to scrutinize the events leading to Altman's firing.

The situation remains fluid as OpenAI navigates governance changes and addresses the concerns of its employees and stakeholders.


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