Microsoft will hold a non-voting observer position on the OpenAI board of directors – 11/30/2023 at 4:10 am

(Add Taylor’s comment in paragraph 5) by Akanksha Khushi, Sayantani Ghosh and Krystal Hu

Microsoft will hold a non-voting observer position on OpenAI’s board of directors, CEO Sam Altman said in his first official letter since taking the helm of the company on Wednesday.

The observer position means that the Microsoft representative can attend OpenAI board meetings and access confidential information, but does not have the right to vote on matters such as election or selection of administrators.

Microsoft Chief Executive Satya Nadella, who recruited Altman to Microsoft after his departure from OpenAI, previously said the ChatGPT maker’s governance needed to change.

OpenAI last week announced the creation of a new board of directors consisting of Bret Taylor, former co-CEO of Salesforce, as chairman, and Larry Summers, former US Treasury Secretary. Quora Chief Executive Adam D’Angelo, who was on the board that fired Altman, also remained on the new board.

On Wednesday, Mr. Taylor said the project will have been completed.

OpenAI’s new Board of Directors is actively seeking new members with experience in areas ranging from technology to security and policy. OpenAI investors are unlikely to get a seat on the nonprofit’s board, sources told Reuters.

Microsoft has committed to investing more than $10 billion in OpenAI and owns 49% of the company. The company did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Mira Murati, who was OpenAI’s chief technology officer and briefly named interim CEO after Altman’s firing, is once again becoming the company’s chief technology officer.

OpenAI fired Altman on Nov. 17 for no specific reason, sparking alarm among investors and employees. He was reinstated four days later, with the promise of a new board.

Altman’s departure sowed confusion about the future of the startup at the center of the artificial intelligence boom.

His co-founder Greg Brockman, who succeeded Altman outside the company, will once again become chairman, Altman said Wednesday.

“Greg and I are partners in running this business. We’ve never figured out how to communicate that on the org chart, but we will,” Altman said.

OpenAI’s chief scientist Ilya Sutskever will no longer serve on the board, Altman said.

Sutskever participated in efforts to fire Altman, but later signed an employee letter requesting his return, expressing regret for his “participation in the board’s actions.”

“I like and respect Ilya, I think he is a guide in this field and an exceptional human being. I have no ill will toward him,” Altman said, adding that the company was discussing how Sutskever could continue his work. work within OpenAI.

In addition to Altman, Brockman, Sutskever and D’Angelo, OpenAI’s previous board included entrepreneur Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner, director of strategy at the Center for Security and Georgetown Emerging Technologies.

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