Microsoft executive have joined the OpenAI board of directors without voting rights

OpenAI ChatGPT

In a recent development, OpenAI announced a new board of directors, which includes a non-voting, observer position for the technology giant, Microsoft. This decision came after a tumultuous period during which OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, was removed, and the company’s future was uncertain. Bloomberg reported that Microsoft executive Dee Templeton has joined OpenAI’s board of directors. However, he joins as a non-voting observer. This is part of the OpenAI board reshuffle.

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OpenAI, the company behind the popular AI chatbot, ChatGPT, caused a stir last November when the company’s CEO Sam Altman was temporarily ousted by OpenAI’s board of directors. The conflict between Sam Altman and the OpenAI board began when the board lost trust in their CEO, leading to his removal. The board cited a lack of transparency as one reason for Altman’s firing. This decision was met with resistance from Altman, who maintained that the board’s actions were not in response to business, safety, or security/privacy practices. The board members felt overwhelmed and had limited bandwidth to engage with anyone, including Microsoft.

Microsoft, a major investor in OpenAI intervened in the issue and Altman was returned to his position as CEO after a few days. After returning to his position, Altman said that Microsoft will serve as a non-voting observer on OpenAI’s board of directors. The observer position means that Microsoft representatives can attend OpenAI board meetings. It can also obtain confidential information. However, Microsoft does not have a vote on matters including the election or selection of directors.

The New Board of Directors

The new OpenAI board of directors consists of former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, and former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor, with Taylor serving as chair. Greg Brockman has returned as OpenAI president, and Mira Murati, who had been the company’s chief technology officer and was briefly named interim CEO, is now the CTO once again.

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Templeton has been with Microsoft for 25 years. She is currently the company’s vice president of technology and research partnerships and operations. Reports say she has begun attending OpenAI board meetings. OpenAI previously agreed to partially reorganize the board of directors that had ousted Altman, former Salesforce co-CEO Brett Taylor, as well as former U.S. Treasury Secretary Larry Summers, and Quora CEO and current director Adam Daan Jello will become a member of OpenAI’s Board of Directors.

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The Non-Voting Observer Position for Microsoft

As part of the new board structure, Microsoft has been granted a non-voting, observer position on OpenAI’s board. This move allows Microsoft to have greater influence without attracting regulatory scrutiny. The observer position means that Microsoft’s representative can attend OpenAI’s board meetings. Also, the representative will report relevant information to CEO, Satya Nadella.

Implications for OpenAI’s Governance and Future

The new board structure and the presence of a non-voting observer position for Microsoft may signal a shift in OpenAI’s governance. However, the specific implications for the company’s future remain unclear. Some experts believe that the current situation is the best possible outcome. They believe that moving OpenAI’s staff into a different company could have led to costly and time-wasting litigation. This is in addition to a possible government intervention.


The non-voting observer position for Microsoft on OpenAI’s board gives the company more access to confidential company information. This move marks a significant shift in the company’s governance. The future of OpenAI can not be predicted at the moment. However, the presence of a non-voting observer position for Microsoft may signal a more stable path forward for the company.

Author Bio

Efe Udin is a seasoned tech writer with over seven years of experience. He covers a wide range of topics in the tech industry from industry politics to mobile phone performance. From mobile phones to tablets, Efe has also kept a keen eye on the latest advancements and trends. He provides insightful analysis and reviews to inform and educate readers. Efe is very passionate about tech and covers interesting stories as well as offers solutions where possible.

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