Sam Altman New-1700651472285
Sam Altman is set to return as the CEO of OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT. A new board is to be led by Bret Taylor

An epic drama is unfolding in the rarefied realm of tech. Sam Altman, the AI wunderkid of our times, has made a shocking comeback at OpenAI.

Just days after his jaw-dropping ouster from the firm he helped found — and his confirmation as the lead of AI in Microsoft — Sam Altman is set to reclaim his throne as OpenAI’s CEO, putting an end to the chaos that threatened the artificial intelligence industry giant.

Here is a break-up of the most high profile tech development of the year.

Altman’s revenge

Former President Greg Brockman joins the comeback, quitting in protest of Altman’s firing but returning for the epic return to power.

Mass revolt

Employee revolt loomed large. The majority of OpenAI’s 700-plus staff wrote a letter to the board, indicating their readiness to stage a mass exodus and join Altman at Microsoft if his reinstatement wasn’t secured. The threat plunged the future of the firm (whose valuation is set to hit $80 billion) into uncertainty.

Agreement in principle

A secretive agreement seals Altman’s return, featuring a new board with heavyweights Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo. D’Angelo, a holdover from the previous board, ensures a bit of history in the new power play.

Microsoft’s demands

With over $10 billion invested, Microsoft is keen on a seat on the board to avoid any more “surprises.” Satya Nadella has warned against shocks during a press tour.

Investigation unleashed

Both parties agree to an investigation by an independent law firm, shining a spotlight on the whole saga. No stone will be left unturned!

Altman speaks

Altman claims every move he made was to keep the OpenAI team and mission intact. Will he succeed?

Thrive Capital’s seal of approval

One of OpenAI’s major investors, Thrive Capital, hails Altman’s return as the “best outcome for the company and the world at large.” High stakes!

Finally, Some Sleep

Key board member Helen Toner, a part of the initial move against Altman, expresses relief: “And now, we all get some sleep.” Dreams of AI dominance, perhaps?

Read more on the saga

Boardroom whirlwind

Altman’s return is more shocking than his abrupt exit. The non-profit board initially appeared unwavering, shuffling through CEOs to avoid reinstating Altman.

Mystery firing

Board members who opposed Altman kept mum on the reasons, even under investor lawsuit threats. Ilya Sutskever, one of the board members, flipped back to Altman’s camp left the remaining board members vulnerable.

CEO’s ultimatum

Interim CEO Emmett Shear, demanding proof of wrongdoing, threatened to resign. After the return announcement, he called it “the pathway that maximised safety.”

With Altman reinstated as OpenAI’s CEO, the move capped a chaotic five days at the world’s foremost artificial intelligence company.