According to sources familiar with the matter, Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, two top executives at OpenAI, are reportedly in discussions with board members about returning to the artificial intelligence start-up after leaving the company following a dramatic board meeting on Friday.
The talks come after an outcry following Mr. Altman’s ousting as chief executive, with investors and supporters pressuring the board members to bring him back. Microsoft, a major investor in OpenAI, was reportedly leading the pressure campaign, and other investors expressed willingness to reinvest if Mr. Altman were to start a new company.
However, there is no guarantee that Mr. Altman or Mr. Brockman will be reinstated at OpenAI due to the company’s unique structure, where the board holds the governance power over the subsidiary responsible for its A.I. work.
OpenAI, Microsoft, and Thrive Capital declined to comment. The Verge had earlier reported that OpenAI’s board was in discussions with Mr. Altman about potentially returning to the company.
The recent discussions mark the latest development in the fast-moving drama at OpenAI, a company that gained widespread attention last year with the release of the chatbot ChatGPT, showcasing the power of artificial intelligence.
Mr. Altman’s abrupt removal as chief executive on Friday has sparked significant interest, drawing attention to a split in the A.I. community between those who see A.I. as a major business opportunity and those who have concerns about the potential dangers of advancing too quickly.
The ouster also reportedly led to the resignation of several OpenAI employees, and there were indications that Mr. Altman and Mr. Brockman were considering starting a new A.I. company.
Tech investors have expressed their support for Mr. Altman and indicated their readiness to back his next venture.
While discussions about a potential new venture were taking place, Mr. Altman and Mr. Brockman were also engaged in talks with OpenAI about a return to the company.