May 30, 2024
Sam Altman and Adam D’Angelo reunite for Thanksgiving following OpenAI boardroom drama


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Just days after the drama over his firing and reinstatement as CEO of OpenAI, Sam Altman spent a few hours on Thanksgiving with his old friend and OpenAI board member Adam D’Angelo

Altman tweeted about the gathering, saying he had a “really nice few hours” with D’Angelo and wishing a happy Thanksgiving from their families.

The tweet surprised many in the tech industry, who wondered how the two men could reconcile after such a bitter and public fallout the week prior. Altman was removed from his role as the leader of OpenAI, the influential artificial intelligence research lab, after the board accused him of lying and undermining its ability to oversee the company. He was reinstated as CEO just 5 days later.

D’Angelo was reportedly one of the board members who had grown concerned about Altman’s vision and direction for OpenAI, especially after the launch of ChatGPT, the wildly popular chatbot that has raised ethical and safety issues.

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While the full history between Altman and D’Angelo remains largely unknown, they did cross paths in the early days of Silicon Valley during the social media boom, D’Angelo as former Facebook CTO and Altman the founder of Loopt, which was almost acquired by Facebook. Both ended up landing important roles at OpenAI — Altman as CEO and D’Angelo as a board member. 

However, their relationship reportedly soured in recent years, as they clashed over the direction and governance of OpenAI, which was originally conceived as a nonprofit research lab with a mission to ensure that artificial intelligence is aligned with human values and can benefit all of humanity.

Their Thanksgiving hangout suggests Altman and D’Angelo are at least trying to publicly move past the OpenAI boardroom drama and are looking to rebuild their relationship. With Altman back as CEO, he and D’Angelo will be working together to shape OpenAI’s future as it continues to make waves in the AI space.

The holiday reunion between the two tech leaders is a clear attempt to turn the page on OpenAI’s chaotic leadership saga, as D’Angelo and Altman now collaborate to guide the company forward.

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