Will Sam Altman return to OpenAI or not? Dismissed on Friday by his board of directors to almost general surprise, the future of the co-founder and general director of the company behind ChatGPT is very uncertain this Wednesday. While the twists and turns follow one another, Le Figaro sets out the chronology of the different events.
12 p.m.: Sam Altman joins a video conference organized by the OpenAI board of directors at 12 p.m. There he learned of his dismissal.
12:20 p.m.: Greg Brockman, president of OpenAI, is invited to a video conference. The directors withdraw his title of chairman of the board of directors but wish to keep him in the company.
12:25 p.m.: The board of directors notifies Microsoft and Thrive Capital, the main financiers of OpenAI, of the dismissal of Sam Altman. They are presented with a fait accompli.
12:30 p.m.: OpenAI makes public the departure of Sam Altman in a press release published on its website. "Mr. Altman's departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he had not always been candid in his communications with the board, hindering his ability to fulfill his responsibilities." , write the administrators. The company announces the appointment of Mira Murati, Chief Technology Officer, as interim CEO.
Afternoon: Greg Brockman announces his resignation on the social network era of artificial intelligence to users.
OpenAI's major investors pressure the board to reverse its decision, and its members tender their resignations. A first ultimatum was set for Saturday 5 p.m., without success.
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Sunday noon: Sam Altman returns to the OpenAI premises to participate in negotiations. He takes a photo of himself with a badge reserved for visitors. “First and last time wearing this,” he posted on X.
Sunday evening: New failure of negotiations. The administrators contacted Emmett Shear, former executive of the video platform Twitch, to offer him the position of interim general manager of OpenAI. After a few hours of reflection, he accepts.
Midnight: Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, announces on the social network
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1 hour: Emmett Shear releases his roadmap for the next 30 days. He announced the opening of an independent investigation to understand the reasons which pushed the administrators to dismiss Sam Altman.
2 hours: Many OpenAI employees start posting the message “OpenAI is nothing without the people who make it,” to which Sam Altman responds with a heart emoji.
5:30 a.m.: Ilya Sutskever, scientific director and one of the four members of the board of directors who overthrew Sam Altman, changes sides. “I deeply regret my participation in the council’s decision. I never wanted to harm OpenAI.
9 a.m.: More than 500 of OpenAI's 770 employees threaten to leave the company if Sam Altman is not reinstated. “Your actions endanger our work, our mission, and our company. Your conduct demonstrates that you do not have the skills to supervise OpenAI,” they wrote in an open letter addressed to the board of directors. “Despite numerous requests, you have never produced written explanations and proof of your allegations [against Sam Altman].(...) We, the signatories, reserve the right to resign and join the new entity of Microsoft”, which provided them with employment guarantees.
Day: OpenAI investors consult with lawyers to determine whether or not they can sue the board.
1 p.m.: The Verge media announces that the ink on the contract between Sam Altman and Microsoft is not dry, and that the entrepreneur continues to maneuver to regain his position at OpenAI.
6:30 p.m.: Satya Nadella gives interviews to American media. He said he was open to a return of Sam Altman to OpenAI. “It will be up to the board of directors to decide, and to the employees to choose what they want to do,” he said on CNBC. But whatever the future of the entrepreneur, Microsoft “wants changes in governance. “For such decisions to be made without you being in the loop is not good.”