OpenAI executives and investors to reinstate Sam Altman to his role as chief executive officer reached an impasse over the makeup and role of the board, according to people familiar with the negotiations. Resolution could come quickly, though talks are fluid and ongoing.
Altman, who was fired Friday, is open to returning but wants to see governance changes, including the removal of existing board members, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the negotiations are private. He’s also seeking a statement absolving him of wrongdoing, they said. After facing intense outrage over the ouster, the board initially agreed in principle to step down, but have so far refused to officially do so. The directors have been vetting candidates for new directors.
Key leaders within OpenAI are also pushing for the board to resign and bring back Altman, one of the people said. The list includes Interim CEO Mira Murati, Chief Strategy Officer Jason Kwon and Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap, the person said.
The campaign to reinstate Altman got underway soon after his firing Friday, when the board members led by OpenAI Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever dismissed Altman and stripped him of his director role, saying “he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board.” Hours later, President Greg Brockman, who had also been kicked off the board, resigned in protest of the day’s developments.
One longstanding issue that has divided the