In a surprising turn of events, Sam Altman has now returned to OpenAI after having been fired from the firm less than a week ago.

On Monday it was announced that Altman, a software entrepreneur and Stanford dropout that rose to prominence as an AI expert during his tenure at ChatGPT producer OpenAI, was joining Microsoft to head a new AI research unit. He was being accompanied by Greg Brockman, who had been deposed as board chair last week and then quit his position as President of OpenAI on his own accord. Several senior researchers of the firm quit to follow their CEO and President.

OpenAI had added to the perception that the switch was permanent and binding after stated on Sunday night that Altman would not be returning to the firm despite the efforts of the board members — who had fired him only two days before. OpenAI co-founder and board member Ilya Sutskever had expressed his regret over the decision on X, which Altman replied to with sympathy.

OpenAI then announced it was hiring Emmett Shear, co-founder of Twitch, to lead as interim CEO, replacing temporary interim CEO Mira Murati.

Now all of this is being reversed, with Altman returning to OpenAI. Late Tuesday night, OpenAI released a statement on X: “We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board.”

Altman confirmed this in an X post five minutes later.

Brockman followed up an hour later with a group selfie of the reunited OpenAI team. A perceptive X user pointed out that Altman can be seen in the top right corner of the photo, off to the side on his phone.

Tom Ellsworth of the Biz Doc Podcast had predicted this turn of events on the PBD Podcast, where Altman, Brockman, and the team would come back to OpenAI and the organization’s board would get an “adult in the room” to supervise in the form of former President of Harvard and US Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and former SalesForce CEO Bret Taylor. Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, the Silicon Valley insider who was instrumental in ousting Altman, is remaining on OpenAI’s board. Taylor will be chairing the board.

Watch the Biz Doc cover the history of OpenAI and its “weekend from hell below, or read a text version of his case study here.

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