Ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and former President Greg Brockman joined executives at the company’s San Francisco headquarters on Sunday after interim CEO Mira Murati told staff she invited Altman, The Information reported on Sunday.
Altman is discussing a possible return to the company behind the ChatGPT bot even as he considers launching a new artificial intelligence venture, Reuters reported on Sunday.
The board of the company on Friday fired Altman, who to many was the human face of generative AI, sending shock waves across the tech industry.
OpenAI declined to comment to Reuters on the details of the report from The Information.
Altman posted on Sunday on messaging platform X an image of himself wearing an OpenAI guest badge with the caption: “first and last time i ever wear one of these.”
Altman’s sacking angered current and former employees and worried them over how an upcoming $86 billion share sale could be affected by the sudden management upheaval.
OpenAI’s former president and co-founder, Brockman also arrived at the office on Sunday, The Information reported.
Brockman had stepped down from the board as chairman as part of the management shuffle, and announced on Friday he quit the company.
OpenAI, a nonprofit co-founded by billionaire Elon Musk, launched ChatGPT on Nov. 30 last year, setting off a global sensation over generative AI technology that quickly became the world’s fastest-growing software application.
It set off a wave of investments and announcements across industries to use AI to enhance everything from financial services and healthcare to entertainment and media.
Trained on reams of data, generative AI can create human-like content, helping users spin up term papers, complete science homework and even write entire novels.
After ChatGPT’s launch, regulators scrambled to catch up: the European Union revised its AI Act and the US kicked off AI regulation efforts.
By Saturday, some shell-shocked employees contemplated quitting if Altman was not restored by the end of the weekend, one source said. Others expressed support for joining Altman in starting a company, a third person familiar with the matter said.
Some researchers at OpenAI, including Szymon Sidor, have quit the company over the CEO change, but it was unclear if Sidor and others would join a new Altman venture, two people familiar with the matter said. Sidor confirmed quitting.
Altman and Apple’s former design chief Jony Ive have been discussing building a new AI hardware device, the Information reported in September. It reported that SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son had been involved in the conversation.
Altman’s ouster was over a “breakdown of communications,” not “malfeasance,” Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap wrote in an internal company memo on Saturday that was viewed by Reuters.
Tech website The Verge earlier reported the OpenAI board’s discussions with Altman to return as CEO. Forbes reported on Saturday investors were plotting to restore Altman as CEO.