Sam Altman had shot to fame with the launch of ChatGPT last year.
OpenAI today announced that it has reached an agreement to bring back Sam Altman as CEO and appoint new board members after nearly all of its employees threatened to quit over his surprise sacking.
"We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo," the company said in a post on X (formerly Twitter).
The company added that it is working "to figure out the details" of the agreement.
Confirming the development, Sam Altman said he was looking forward to returning to OpenAI.
"I love openai, and everything i've done over the past few days has been in service of keeping this team and its mission together. I'm looking forward to returning to openai, and building on our strong partnership with msft (Microsoft)," Altman posted on X.
Minutes after Sam Altman announced his decision to return as OpenAI CEO, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who had recently welcomed Altman into the company, said they have discussed the matter and agreed that this is "a first essential step" to build a "more stable, well-informed, and effective governance" in OpenAI.
Altman, who was fired by OpenAI's board on Friday following disagreements on how fast to develop and monetise artificial intelligence, had been in negotiations with the company to return. Those talks reached an impasse on Sunday in part over pressure from Altman and others for existing board members to resign. Instead, the board named a new leader — former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear — and OpenAI's biggest backer, Microsoft, said it would hire Altman to head up a new in-house AI team.
The shakeup wasn't the first at OpenAI, which was launched in 2015. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, a co-founder of the non-profit, was once its co-chair, and in 2020 other executives departed, going on to found competitor Anthropic, which claims to have a greater focus on AI safety.
Altman had shot to fame with the launch of ChatGPT last year, which ignited a race to advance AI research and development, as well as billions being invested in the sector.