- OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was fired on Friday, causing chaos at the company.
- Amid discussions about changing OpenAI’s board, Bret Taylor was asked to join.
- The former Salesforce executive and Twitter board chairman is no longer ready for this.
Inside OpenAI, the search for a new board has taken a different turn, as one of the key figures of the outraged employees targeted for addition is no longer expected to join the board.
Amid a chaotic three days that included the abrupt dismissal of CEO and co-founder Sam Altman and near-immediate negotiations for his return, there was also talk of replacing the board of directors responsible for the move.
The board managed to replace Altman with a second interim CEO — Emmet Shear, former Twitch CEO — after the original pick — CTO Mira Murati — joined a group of hundreds of employees threatening to quit unless all board members resigned and Altman did not return. However, in a further insult to employees, it appears that some of the expected management changes are no longer planned.
Bret Taylor, a former Salesforce executive who was also chairman of Twitter’s board when Elon Musk was orchestrating the company’s takeover, was to be announced as a new board member last night, a person familiar with the situation said. It is now no longer possible to join the OpenAI board.
“People are freaking out, angry, and there will be mass job losses soon,” a person at the company said.
Another person familiar with the company said current board members are still considering adding to their positions, but would now like to find someone with a profile similar to Taylor’s to join the team.
Taylor did not respond to a request for comment, nor did an OpenAI representative.
Taylor joining the board was listed as a condition in an open letter from hundreds of OpenAI staff members. The letter said current board members were willing to leave the company and join Altman at Microsoft, where he would lead a new project if the board did not resign. Greg Brockman, the CEO of OpenAI, who left in solidarity with Altman, was also hired by Microsoft.
The company’s current board of directors consists of Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora; Tasha McCauley, technology entrepreneur; Helen Toner of the Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technologies; and Ilya Setskever, OpenAI Chief Scientist. Although Setskever also signed an open letter threatening to leave the company, he is technically still a member of the board of directors. Altman and Brockman also previously served on the board.
Are you an OpenAI employee or someone who can share tips or insights? Contact Kali Hays at firstname.lastname@example.org using the secure messaging app Signal at 949-280-0267 or via private message on Twitter at @hayskala. Contact us using a non-work device.