After a chaotic weekend-long fiasco for OpenAI, Sam Altman is back at the helm as CEO


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May 16, 2023
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Of course the relationship changed: OpenAI itself is changed.

Its schizoid structure exploded and the conflict between techie "true believers" and doomsters got settled in favor of the former. OpenAI is now a standard silivalley startup paying lip service to idealist "serving humanity instead of investors". (Like google's infamous "do no evil" pretense.

This was inevitable from the moment the company invited investor money, the staff received stock options, and an IPO was floated. The "golden rule" of silivalley prevailed: thems that put up the money rule.

The new board will be strongly (if not totally) dominated by industry players, including the sole holdover (who is himself headed out the door soon enough if rumors prove true). The company charter will shortly be amended and "capped profit" ditched, almost certainly.

As to MS, whether hiring Altman was a ploy or not, they came out ahead: they are back at last thursday with OpenAI as a "captive suppler" or, in gaming terms, "second party" developer but with clear and direct power over its future. And, come the IPO they can either pickup the next 1% of stock or sell off a portion of the investment for big gains.

Regardless, they keep OpenAI separate enough to avoid more DC regulator angst and be safely insulated from any fallout from future soap operas of which there will be many, no doubt: the board was not the only source of doomsters in the company and they won't all quit. There's that IPO carrot, albeit delayed now.

A tour de force of corporate politics from Nadella.


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