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Key Figures in the Boardroom Drama at OpenAI

Silicon Valley tech company OpenAI recently underwent tumultuous changes when its chief executive, Sam Altman, was suddenly removed by the company’s board of directors. This move was followed by a roller-coaster ride culminating in Altman being reinstated, and the formation of a new board. OpenAI was founded as a nonprofit lab in 2015 by Altman and several others, and he raised $1 billion in funding from Microsoft after taking over as chief executive in 2018. Other key figures in OpenAI include Greg Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, Mira Murati, Adam D’Angelo, Helen Toner, and Tasha McCauley.

With Altman’s removal from the board, Mira Murati briefly served as interim chief executive, and Adam D’Angelo and Helen Toner also left the board. However, Sam Altman ultimately returned to OpenAI, and a new board was formed. In addition, Microsoft, who had invested $1 billion in OpenAI previously, invested an additional $12 billion. Key figures who were involved in bringing Altman back to OpenAI were Satya Nadella of Microsoft, Brian Chesky of Airbnb, Emmett Shear and Bret Taylor.

Bret Taylor, former co-chief executive of Salesforce.com, became the new OpenAI board chairman, and Lawrence H. Summers, one of the country’s most prominent economists, also joined the board. Silicon Valley investor Ron Conway, a longtime friend of Altman’s, also played a role in helping Altman regain his position. The upheaval at OpenAI reflects the intense competition and stakes in the rapidly evolving tech industry, and the importance of secure backing from major companies and investors.

Photo credit www.nytimes.com


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