Sam Altman is returning to lead OpenAI less than five days after his surprise dismissal, which kicked off a tug of war for his talent, left the company in disarray and laid bare deep board divisions over the mission of one of the world’s most valuable startups.
OpenAI’s new interim board, which won’t include Altman at the outset, will be led by Bret Taylor, a former co-CEO of Salesforce. The other directors are Larry Summers, the former U.S. treasury secretary, and existing member Adam D’Angelo, the co-founder and CEO of Quora.
Altman had been fired Friday after clashing with the board over his drive to transform OpenAI from a nonprofit organization focused on the scientific exploration of artificial intelligence into a business that builds products, attracts customers and lines up the funding needed to power AI tools. Members of the former board harbored concerns about the potential harms done by powerful, unchecked AI.