Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman returns to headquarters for talks following his abrupt ouster

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, participates in the “Charting the Way Forward: The Future of Artificial Intelligence” conference during Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders Week in San Francisco, California , November 16, 2023.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

Sam Altman, the recently ousted CEO of OpenAI, arrived as a guest at the headquarters of the company he founded on Sunday.

Altmann posted a photo of himself on X, formerly Twitter, wearing an OpenAI visitor badge, writing: “first and last time wearing one.”

Jason Kwon, OpenAI’s chief strategy officer, also posted a photo of Sam with the badge. Altman’s appearance at OpenAI headquarters followed news that the company’s investors were pushing to reinstate him as CEO a day after he was ousted by the board, according to people close to him. folder.

Over the past 24 hours, a large group of OpenAI employees, including executives, have also voiced their support for Altman on social media. sharing hearts in response to one of his messages. MicrosoftSequoia Capital, Tiger Global and venture capital firm Thrive Capital are part of an effort to reinstate Altman or have been in discussions with him, sources close to him told CNBC.

On Saturday morning, Brad Lightcap, OpenAI’s chief operating officer, wrote in a memo to employees, obtained by CNBC, that the board’s announcement took everyone by surprise.

“We have had several conversations with the board to try to better understand the reasons and process behind their decision,” Lightcap wrote. “These discussions and options regarding our path forward continue this morning.”

Those discussions have now evolved into media reports that Altman may return to the company, alongside OpenAI President Greg Brockman, who resigned Friday after Altman’s departure was announced.

CNBC’s Rohan Goswami and Jordan Novet contributed reporting.


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