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OpenAI’s New Board Of Directors Includes Some Key Figures

OpenAIs-New-Board-Of-Directors-Includes-some-Key-Figures

A former CEO of Salesforce, a CEO of Quora, and a former Treasury Secretary

On Wednesday, OpenAI announced a near-complete board overhaul, as well as a deal to have Sam Altman return as CEO after its previous board faced near-unanimous employee and investor backlash for ousting Altman last week.

The new “initial board,” as the company describes it, will be chaired by former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor and will also include former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo

D’Angelo, who cofounded the question-and-answer website Quora, is the only surviving member of the previous board and one of the four people who voted to remove Altman last week. Taylor, the interim board’s new chair, was co-CEO of Salesforce with founder Marc Benioff until January of this year.

Taylor, the co-creator of Google Maps and Facebook’s former Chief Technology Officer, announced earlier this year the launch of a new AI startup in collaboration with Clay Bavor, the former head of Google’s Labs division.

Summers served as Treasury Secretary in the Clinton administration from 1999 to 2001 before becoming President Obama’s chief economic adviser in 2009. Taylor and D’Angelo have shared OpenAI’s announcement on X, but none of the three have commented publicly on their appointment to the board.

Summers wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2017 in response to former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, warning that AI will displace American workers. “If you think AI is not going to have any meaningful economic effects for half a century, then I guess you should think that tech companies are overvalued. But neither statement is defensible,” Summers wrote. However, neither statement is defendable.” According to the former Treasury Secretary, self-driving cars will “affect millions of jobs driving and dealing with cars within the next 15 years.”

Earlier this year, commenting on OpenAI’s ChatGPT, Summers told Bloomberg it is “coming for the cognitive class.” He said the technology “will replace what doctors do. Hearing symptoms and making diagnoses before it changes what nurses do, helping patients…handle themselves in the hospital.”

Tasha McCauley, Helen Toner, and co-founder Ilya Sutskever are the three other board members who voted to remove Altman. Toner simply tweeted, “And now, we all get some sleep,” in response to OpenAI’s announcement. According to the New York Times, Altman was attempting to get Toner fired before he was fired on Friday for writing a research paper that he believed was critical of OpenAI. Sutskever, who has since expressed regret over Altman’s dismissal, has not commented on the latest developments, but appears to be supportive by retweeting both the announcement and Sam Altman’s tweet :

The “initial board” has reportedly been tasked with vetting candidates for a full board of up to nine members. It is unclear whether Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest investor, will join the new board. According to the Information, Altman and former chair Greg Brockman, who also announced his return to OpenAI alongside Altman, are likely to remain on the board.