The OpenAI palace battle drama comes to an end, and the event timeline is sorted out
OpenAI's "Palace Fight" finally ended with the return of Sam Altman.
On November 22, OpenAI announced on social platform X that it had reached an agreement in principle and Sam Altman returned to the company as CEO. The new board list shows that only Quora CEO Adam D'Angelo, former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor and former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers are retained Summers joins the newly formed board of directors.
OpenAI co-founder and former president Greg Brockman responded to the statement by saying, "Today has been amazing progress and we will emerge stronger and more united than ever."
Here is a timeline to help you understand what happened in OpenAI in the past 5 days.
Ilya asked Sam to talk at noon on the 17th (evening on the 16th)
Mira already knew what was going to happen at this point
CEO Sam Altman was informed by the board of directors that he would be fired (noon on the 17th)
He was stripped of his directorship and left the company for "not always communicating honestly".
The entire board except Greg was present.
Ilya asked Greg to call immediately (12:19 on the 17th)
President and Chairman Greg Brockman was removed from the board of directors but retained his position (12:23, 17th)
OpenAI board of directors announces the dismissal of CEO Sam Altman (12:28, 17th)
Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati was appointed interim CEO.
The board of directors has been reduced from 6 to 4, with Ilya Sutskever (Chief Scientist), Adam D'Angelo (Quora CEO), Helen Toner (Strategy Director of Georgetown CSET), and Tasha McCauley (Technology Entrepreneur) remaining.
Greg Brockman chose to resign voluntarily to support Sam (16:08, 17th)
Director Helen Toner said that even if the company was destroyed, it would be "in line with the mission" (17th)
The board of directors was questioned by regulatory & law enforcement agencies, but still refused to provide details of the "reason" (17th)
The board said: "Altman was not forthcoming and often got his own way. He was so skillful that we cannot even give a specific example."
Inquiries include the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan.
Chief scientist Ilya Sutskever is considered the leader (09:17 on the 18th)
The board's public statement was read to Sam, explaining that Sam was fired because he "had not been consistently candid in his communications with the board."
Sam Altman plans to establish a new artificial intelligence company (11:46 on the 18th)
Greg is expected to join.
Sam Altman is interested in returning to OpenAI (14:44 on the 18th)
Dozens of senior OpenAI employees went to Sam Altman’s home in San Francisco (22:25 on the 18th)
OpenAI employees formed a movement of retweeting love and support on Twitter/X (22:32 on the 18th)
Sam and Greg appeared at OpenAI headquarters to negotiate their return (13:03 on the 19th)
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has been leading the negotiations.
Musk called for the board of directors to announce the reasons for taking such drastic action (15:06, 19th)
Musk is the co-founder and former board member of OpenAI.
Musk commented that Ilya is a kind-hearted person who does not pursue power, and the reason for such actions worries him.
Microsoft may obtain non-voting board seats (16:01, 19th)
Other possible new directors include Bret Taylor, Marisa Mayer, Brian Chesky, Roelof Botha, Sheryl Sandberg, and Reid Hoffman.
Mira Murati and other executives ask the board of directors to resign and reinstate Sam (18:00, 19th)
Mira is joined by chief strategy officer Jason Kwon and chief operating officer Brad Lightcap.
An OpenAI spokesperson confirmed that the reason for the dismissal was not "illegal conduct or any issues related to financial, commercial, security or security/privacy practices " (18:17, 19th)
There was simply a "communication breakdown" between Sam and the board.
Sam Altman’s first return talks break down (20:58, 19th)
Ilya tells employees that Sam will no longer be CEO.
Several technology executives received invitations from the OpenAI board of directors to serve as interim CEO (17th-19th)
First choice Nat Friedman, former CEO of GitHub, declined.
Second choice Scale AI CEO Alex Wang declined.
Third choice Anthropic CEO Dario Amodei declined.
Interim CEO changed from Mira to former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear (21:06, 19th)
Helen and Ilya were responsible for recruiting Emmett.
Emmett was not provided with detailed documentation of the reasons for Sam's firing, but confirmed it was not due to safety disagreements.
Microsoft CEO Satya said that Sam and Greg will join Microsoft (23:53 on the 19th)
Ilya had an emotional conversation with Greg’s wife Anna in the OpenAI office (19th)
Ilya was the officiant at the couple's wedding.
Anna cries and begs him to change his mind.
Mira's statement "OpenAI without employees is useless" went viral on Twitter/X (02:06 on the 20th)
Hundreds of OpenAI employees posted it as a slogan.
Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever expressed regret for participating in board actions (05:15 on the 20th)
Sam and Greg forward their love and support.
95% of OpenAI employees signed a joint letter asking the board of directors to resign and reinstate Sam's position, otherwise he will join Microsoft (06:24 on the 20th)
Ilya signed the letter.
Microsoft promises to seamlessly accommodate all OpenAI employees.
OpenAI employees refused to attend an emergency meeting with Emmett on Sunday (10:59 on the 20th)
Respond with the FUCK YOU emoji.
Sam Altman said that his and Microsoft’s primary goal is OpenAI (11:39, 20th)
Microsoft CEO Satya said it would be a priority for Sam to return to OpenAI (15:45 on the 20th)
Satya still doesn't know why Sam was fired.
Satya said board governance "has to change".
OpenAI's proposed merger with Anthropic was rejected (17:25 on the 20th)
It is considered to be another ploy after Anthropic CEO refused to serve as OpenAI's interim CEO.
Anthropic CEO Dario is a former senior employee of OpenAI.
Anthropic was founded by several OpenAI employees after they split off.
Director Adam D'Angelo is considered the leader (20th)
People who have worked with Adam say he has "never" been persuaded to change his position.
Adam has been the board representative involved in the negotiations.
Emmett joins Adam to negotiate on behalf of the board of directors (starting at 09:47 on the 21st)
Emmett said he would leave if the board could not provide evidence of wrongdoing ( in what Bloomberg called a turning point in the negotiations ).
The conversation focused on Sam's return as CEO rather than any other role.
Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky helped represent Sam Altman.
Bret Taylor, former chief technology officer of FaceBook, is in charge of neutral mediation.
Musk received a letter from a former OpenAI employee reporting Sam and Greg’s dishonest and manipulative behavior (14:48, 21st)
Helen Toner is considered to be a central role in removing Sam (17:10 on the 21st)
A few weeks ago, when OpenAI was under investigation by the FTC, Helen published a paper criticizing the company.
Sam tries to eliminate Helen and bring in a new director, which leads to a conflict.
Sam and the board have been at loggerheads for more than a year.
All parties reached an agreement to allow Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO (22:03 on the 21st)
The initial board of directors consists of Bret Taylor (Chairman), Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo.
The primary task of the initial board of directors is to nominate and select up to nine new directors.
Sam and Greg agreed not to be on the board initially, but may eventually be.
Microsoft may have board representatives who serve as observers.
Both sides agreed to investigate the entire recall.