OpenAI is undergoing a board renewal after the controversy generated by the firing and subsequent reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman.

According to The Information, Microsoft and other major investors such as Sequoia Capital, Khosla Ventures and Thrive Capital would be left out of the governance of the artificial intelligence startup.

According to the same source, changes to the board are expected to be formalized this week, with Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora, keeping his seat and the addition of Bret Taylor and Larry Summers, while there are six seats yet to be defined.

So far, OpenAI has made no official statements on these reports. The focus is on how Microsoft’s move away from Microsoft could influence the startup collaboration dynamic, especially after the software giant’s significant investments in the AI organization.

Why Microsoft would not have a seat on the new OpenAI board of directors.

According to the cited media outlet, the formal explanation for denying a board seat to Microsoft and OpenAI’s other investors would be that the organization would seek to prioritize security in the development of its artificial intelligence, ahead of financial returns.

However, there is an additional factor: Microsoft, as well as other companies that have invested heavily in OpenAI and played a major role in the moves that sought to reinstate Sam Altman as CEO.

The inclusion of Altman-sympathetic investors on the board can give the CEO significant influence, even though he is not on the board.

This means that even if Altman resigns his position on the board, he may still have delegates who share his perspective and have an impact on the company’s decisions and strategy.

The company has not made public claims for a seat on the board. However, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft clearly expressed in an interview with CNBC the need for a change in OpenAI governance.

On the other hand, Thomas Hayes, chairman of hedge fund Great Hill Capital, told Reuters that he considers it unlikely that Microsoft will maintain a passive position regarding its exclusion in the startup’s management, noting that it “will have a say in the matter, considering the size of its investment.”

Altman’s dismissal and return to OpenAI

The San Francisco-based company announced on Tuesday, November 21, that Altman was returning as CEO, accompanied by a new startup board that included the likes of Bret Taylor, former co-CEO of Salesforce; Larry Summers, former U.S. Treasury Secretary; and Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora.

The surprise move followed a weekend of intense internal wrangling and mounting pressure from the startup’s investors following Altman’s abrupt ouster on Friday, Nov. 17.

“We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new board consisting of Bret Taylor (chairman), Larry Summers and Adam D’Angelo,” the firm posted on the X platform.

The situation was further complicated when Microsoft hired Altman on Sunday the 19th, as well as another OpenAI co-founder and former president, Greg Brockman, who had resigned in protest of Altman’s departure.

“I love OpenAI, and everything I’ve done over the past few days has been to hold this team and its mission together. When I decided to join Microsoft on Sunday afternoon, it was clear that it was the best path for me and the team,” Altman said on the X social network.

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