Sam Altman will return to OpenAI’s board of directors.

OpenAI said on Friday that its high-profile chief executive, Sam Altman, would rejoin its board of directors more than three months after he was briefly ousted from the company.

The move covers a highly anticipated report by a law firm hired by OpenAI’s board of directors to investigate Mr. Altman and his sudden removal from the company in November. Brett Taylor, a current board member, said during a news conference Friday afternoon that the report was complete, but the company has not released the report.

“The special committee recommended and the entire board expressed its full confidence in Mr. Altman and Mr. Brockman,” Mr. Taylor said, referring to Greg Brockman, the company’s president, who recommended Mr. Altman’s removal. Later he resigned in protest. “We are excited and united in our support of Sam and Greg.”

The report found that OpenAI’s board acted within its broad discretion to fire Mr. Altman, but also found that his conduct did not warrant the removal, the company said. Mr Taylor said the company would continue to expand its board.

Mr. Altman returned as chief executive just five days after being fired and agreed to an investigation into his behavior and the board’s actions. The two members who voted for his removal agreed to resign. In his place, the investigation was overseen by the law firm, Wilmer Hale, from outside the company.

OpenAI also took steps to address concerns about a lack of diversity on the board by adding three women as directors: Sue Desmond-Hellman, former chief executive of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Nicole Seligman, former general counsel of Sony; and Instacart Chief Executive Fidji Simu.

(The New York Times sued OpenAI and Microsoft in December for copyright infringement of news content about AI systems.)

With the report and board additions, OpenAI’s leadership hoped to move past the controversy surrounding Mr. Altman’s dismissal. The incident, which threatened the company’s future, raised numerous questions about its leadership and the company’s unusual structure — a nonprofit board overseeing a nonprofit company.

Because it hasn’t released the report, OpenAI hasn’t answered many questions about the San Francisco company. Some insiders have questioned whether Mr. Altman had too much control over how the investigation was handled.

OpenAI, valued at more than $80 billion in its latest financing round, is at the forefront of creative AI, technologies that can generate text, images and sounds. Many believe that creative AI could change the technology industry as well as the web browser did nearly three decades ago. Others worry that the technology could cause serious harm, help spread misinformation online, replace countless jobs and perhaps even threaten the future of humanity.

After releasing OpenAI’s online chatbot ChatGPT in late 2022, Mr. Altman became the face of the industry’s push toward generative AI. Given that he no longer has confidence in his ability to run the company.

The board had shrunk to six people: three founders and three independent members. Along with three outsiders, one of the founders, Ilya Sotskiur, the company’s chief scientist, voted to remove Mr. Altman, without explanation, saying he had been “consistently clear in his communication.” were not

Another founder, Mr. Brockman, resigned from the company in protest. A few days later, Dr. Sutskewer said he regretted his decision to remove Mr. Altman and effectively resigned from the board, leaving three independent members to oppose Mr. Altman.

OpenAI was founded as a nonprofit in 2015, before Mr. Altman created a nonprofit subsidiary three years later and raised $1 billion from Microsoft. The nonprofit board, whose stated mission is to create AI for the benefit of humanity, retained full control of the new subsidiary. Investors, including Microsoft, had no legal say about who ran the company.

In an effort to resolve the turmoil and return Mr. Oltman to the company, he and the board agreed to replace two members, Mr. Taylor, a former Salesforce executive, and Lawrence H. Summers, a former treasury secretary. Mr. Taylor and Mr. Summers were charged with overseeing the investigation into Mr. Altman and his firing.

The new board faced criticism from corporate governance experts for its lack of diversity. Mr. Taylor told The New York Times in November that he would fill the board with “qualified, diverse candidates” who were “a representative group of people who really represent the mission, which is to spread the technology.” ., AI Security Policy.”

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