Sam Altman's back. Here's who's on the new OpenAI board and who's out

After several days of crisis and tumult, Sam Altman has returned as the CEO of OpenAI. Three new board members have replaced the previous leadership that ousted Altman.

OpenAI’s new board doesn’t appear to be fully built. Negotiations are reportedly underway to install representation from Microsoft, which has invested billions of dollars in OpenAI, or other major investors.

There’s a notable change in the board’s experience. The previous board included academics and researchers, but OpenAI’s new directors have extensive backgrounds in business and technology.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in an interview with CNBC on Monday that governance at OpenAI needed to change. Nadella said Wednesday he is “encouraged” by the changes to the company’s board, according to a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

“We believe this is a first essential step on a path to more stable, well-informed, and effective governance,” he said.

Microsoft, Sequoia Capital, Thrive Capital and Tiger Global are among the OpenAI investors that lack representation on the board but had been pushing to reinstate Altman, as CNBC previously reported.

Bret Taylor, co-CEO of Salesforce, and Larry Summers, former Treasury Secretary, are among the newest members of OpenAI’s board. Taylor is currently a board member at Shopify and Summers has connections in Washington that could be valuable for OpenAI as the company faces regulatory scrutiny.

Adam D’Angelo, CEO of Quora, is the only member remaining from the previous board who still holds a seat. He joined in 2018 and played a major role in bringing Altman back to the helm.

Helen Toner, a researcher and director at Georgetown University, Tasha McCauley, an adjunct senior management scientist at Rand Corporation, and Ilya Sutskever, co-founder and Chief Scientist of OpenAI, have been removed from the board.

The composition of the new board suggests that OpenAI may be transforming into a more conventional Silicon Valley startup on paper, not just in spirit. However, OpenAI remains a “capped-profit” entity owned by a nonprofit, with excess profits continuing to flow up to that nonprofit.