What's going on with Open AI?

Real-time compilation of updates from the hottest tech drama this holiday season.

The hottest company in Silicon Valley, the company that promised God-level AGI is providing a drama whose script can only be written by AGI. The last we tuned in, Sam is again the CEO of OpenAI. We’re so back.

OpenAI Board has some makeover. Adam is still there with Bret Taylor (Chair) and Larry Summers joining him.

Don’t know what happened? 🍿Catch up here.

Update: OpenAI reached an agreement in principle

Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D'Angelo.

More details to follow. [source]

Report: Emmett Shear will leave if the board doesn’t provide evidence.

As per an internal memo, there are intense discussions going on between Sam Altman and Adam D'Angelo (Quora’s CEO who is one of the three members of the OpenAI board).

While the previous updates mentioned Sam could be back as Director of the traditional board, more updates say that only the CEO role is at the centre of the negotiations.

Emmett is now part of the discussions but will not stay as Interim CEO of OpenAI if the board doesn’t provide evidence of wrongdoing.

Emmett be like, “Guys, can you be candid in your conversations with me?”


Statement: Satya Nadella talks to the media after hiring Sam Altman into Microsoft.

On a mini-media tour with Bloomberg, CNBC and Kara Swisher, Nadella talked about what went down and what are his plans.

  • I’m not being told about anything about [what Sam did] (1). Open AI’s governance needs to change after this ”event” (2).

  • There is no OpenAI without Microsoft leaning in to partner in a deep way. We have everything to serve our customers if Open AI disappeared tomorrow (3).

  • We are open for Sam and Greg to go back to Open AI, but they’ll keep doing business with Microsoft in any case (1). I’m open to both options (2).

  • We have a place for every OpenAI employee that wants to come to Microsoft. And will keep supporting the ones who choose to stay at OpenAI (3).

In addition, Sam Altman tweeted that both his and Satya’s priority is to keep OpenAI thriving.

Report: OpenAI staff got different examples from the board for “his not candid communication”

The examples given are:

  1. Altman gave two people at OpenAI the same project.

  2. Altman gave two board members different opinions about a member of personnel.

The employees are not buying these (evident from the 95% of them being ready to walk if Sam isn't brought back)


Report: Customers reached out to OpenAI competitors.

While the team is keeping OpenAI operational, more than 100 OpenAI customers contacted OpenAI competitor Anthropic over the weekend.


Status: OpenAI Team is keeping ChatGPT and API operational.

While it was vacation time for the team after Dev Day they are working hard to keep serving the customers.

In the meanwhile, 743 of the ~770 OpenAI employees, >95% employees have signed the letter for the board to resign.

Report: Through the weekend, OpenAI board was scrambling to find a replacement for the just-announced Interim CEO Mira Murati

As per reports, The Open AI board went to former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman and the co-founder and CEO of Scale AI, Alex Wang. Both of them declined the offer.

Another major (but expected) attempt from the board was contacting Anthropic for a merger. Anthropic was started by ex-OpenAI employees Dario and Daniela Amodei with their concerns about OpenAI’s approach to safety.

Monday, 20th November 2023 (11:15 AM ET)

About 650 of 770 people at Open AI have signed the letter at this moment. As people start waking up, more will come. All the efforts started after 1:30 AM, 500+ within two hours and all of this after 2 crazy days with very little sleep. — Lilian Weng, applied research @OpenAI

Also, Jan Leike, Head of Alignment from OpenAI’s SuperAlignment team has tweeted: “I think the OpenAI board should resign”.

Still, no word on what was the board’s actual reason for starting all of this.

Monday, 20th November 2023 (8:30 AM ET)

Ilya Sutskever, the Chief Scientist of OpenAI has had some sort of deep realization. The soldier is back to the home turf and fighting alongside his homies.

The Wired has published a letter signed by 500+ OpenAI employees to the Open AI board, asking their resignation. Ilya Sutskever is among the people who have signed.

The key bits from the letter:

To the Board of Directors at OpenAI:

  1. The process of this firing has jeopardised the company. This conduct makes it clear that you are not competent to oversee the company.

  2. You’ve not provided any written facts of your allegations and were negotiating in bad faith. Despite the leadership’s suggestion for the most stabilizing path forward (resignation of the board), you’ve replaced Interim CEO Mira Murati again against the interests of the company.

  3. You’ve told us that even destroying the company will be consistent with the mission.

  4. Hence: Either resign and bring everyone back or we all go with Sam and Greg to work at Microsoft under their new unit. Satya says he’s happy to help. (my words, not theirs but they mean the same)

Monday, 20th November 2023 (8:15 AM ET)

Ilya Sutskever, the Chief Scientist of OpenAI has had some sort of deep realization. The soldier is back to the home turf and fighting alongside his homies.

Ilya regrets his actions and is willing to do whatever it takes to reunite the company. Sam retweets with hearts (three hearts).

That’s some homecoming.

Recap from the weekend:

  • OpenAI fired its CEO Sam Altman on Friday. Since then, combined seasons of Succession and Silicon Valley have happened.

  • After failed talks of Sam and the team going back to their roles, Satya Nadella announces that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman will join Microsoft together with colleagues from Open AI.

  • Open AI employees have coordinated two tweet storms this weekend. The latest one saying “OpenAI is nothing without its people”.

  • Emmett Shear (co-founder of Twitch) is the Interim CEO of Open AI.

If you’re writing the TV show script: full play-to-play deets here.

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