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ChatGPT maker OpenAI agrees deal for ousted Sam Altman to return as chief executive

ChatGPT maker OpenAI says it has agreed a deal for Sam Altman to return as chief executive after he was ousted by its board.

The agreement “in principle” involves a new board being installed, the company said.

In a post on X, OpenAI said: “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.”

It followed a threatened mutiny by OpenAI staff.

The vast majority of them said they would quit and work for Microsoft if the board did not resign and if Mr Altman and his ally and company president Greg Brockman, who left in solidarity with Mr Altman, were not reinstated.

The pair had been hired to work at Microsoft, OpenAI’s biggest investor, on a new artificial intelligence (AI) research project.

The new board of directors, which operates on a not-for-profit basis, unlike conventional boards, will include the former US Treasury Secretary and economics professor, Larry Summers.

It will be chaired by the former CEO of Salesforce and co-creator of Google maps, Bret Taylor, with the CEO of question and answer site Quora, Adam D’Angelo also joining the board.

OpenAI’s board operates on a non-commercial basis, unlike the company, as it was originally founded as a not-for-profit with the goal of building safe and beneficial AI “for the benefit of humanity”.

Mr Brockman said of his return, which came on Tuesday night west coast America time, that he was “getting back to coding tonight”.

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