Sam Altman returns to OpenAI's board after being acquitted in investigation


In its investigation, which included a review of more than 30,000 documents and interviews with dozens of people, WilmerHale found that the four board members had accurately portrayed their reasoning when they cited Altman's lack of candor with the board. Was thrown out. The report found that they did not expect firing Altman would “destabilize the company,” according to OpenAI's blog post on Friday. OpenAI only released a summary of the findings, not the full report.

OpenAI's summary states, “WilmerHale also found that the previous board's decision did not arise from concerns regarding product safety or security, the pace of development, OpenAI's finances, or its statements to investors, customers or business partners. happened.” “Instead, it was the result of a breakdown in the relationship and loss of trust between the former board and Altman.”

OpenAI said the investigation found that the board acted on its concerns “within a short timeframe, without providing advance notice to key stakeholders, and without conducting a thorough inquiry or giving Altman the opportunity to address them.”

new inspection

Desmond-Hellman served on Facebook's board from 2013 to 2019 and stepped down to focus on her role at the Gates Foundation. His relationship with Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates could help the company, which has pledged $13 billion to OpenAI, drive the partnership. Following Altman's ouster last year, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella complained of being surprised by the move. Microsoft did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Seligman brings to OpenAI's board experience of working within the media and entertainment industries, which could prove beneficial as OpenAI is battling multiple lawsuits from content publishers alleging that it used the technology to develop systems like ChatGPT. Has broken their content.

Simo's previous work at Facebook included overseeing its video projects and managing the company's primary mobile app for a few years. She also sits on the board of Shopify, one of the leading providers of ecommerce software.

Brett Taylor, who chairs OpenAI's board and recently launched his own generative AI company, said during a press call on Friday that the additional governance changes made along with the expansion of the board to seven members will be a positive change for the non-profit. -Will help in managing the profitable organization better. He said they include new corporate governance guidelines, a new and enhanced conflict of interest policy and a whistleblower hotline. He said the board will continue to expand and has created some new committees, including one called Mission and Strategy.

OpenAI's nonprofit arm had noted in regulatory filings for years that its governance documents and conflict rules were open to public inspection, but said the policy changed when WIRED asked to see the documents in the wake of last year's drama. Went. That policy change was cited by Elon Musk, who helped found OpenAI but is no longer involved with it, when he sued the ChatGPT creator last week for allegedly violating its mission.

On Friday, OpenAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment on whether it would publish new and updated policies. Asked for more information about the update, Taylor told reporters, “I'm not an expert in this area.” Many of our policies are public documents. I'm not sure what is and what isn't? So I’m sorry, I don’t have a great answer for you right now.”

Additional reporting by Steven Levy.

Updated March 6, 2024, 7:20 PM EST: This article was updated with additional content from OpenAI's news briefing.

Updated March 6, 2024, 6:40 PM EST: This article was updated with new details about OpenAI's new board members and the company's announcements today.