Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman returns to headquarters for talks after his surprise ouster

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI participates in “Charting the Road Ahead: The Future of Artificial Intelligence” at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Leaders' Week in San Francisco, California on November 16, 2023.

Andrew Caballero-Reynolds | AFP | Getty Images

Sam Altman, the recently ousted CEO of OpenAI, visited the headquarters of the company he founded on Sunday.

Altman He posted his own photo On X, formerly of Twitter, wearing an OpenAI visitor badge, it read: “First and last time I wear one of these.”

Jason Kwon, Chief Strategy Officer of OpenAI, also posted a photo of Sam with the badge. Altman's appearance at OpenAI HQ followed news that the company's investors were trying to reinstate him as CEO, a day after he was fired by the board.

Over the past 24 hours, a large group of OpenAI employees, including executives, have also expressed their support for Altman on social media. By sharing hearts In response to one of his posts. MicrosoftSequoia Capital, Tiger Global and venture capital firm Thrive Capital are all part of Altman's recovery effort or have been in discussions with him, sources familiar with the matter told CNBC.

On Saturday morning, OpenAI CEO Brad Lightcup wrote a memo to employees obtained by CNBC that the board's announcement caught everyone by surprise.

“We had many conversations with the board to better understand the reasons and process for their decision,” Lightcap wrote. “Those discussions and options regarding our way forward are ongoing this morning.”

Those discussions have now turned into media reports that Altman may return to the company along with OpenAI president Greg Brockman, who left on Friday following the news of Altman's departure.

CNBC's Rohan Goswami and Jordan Novett contributed reporting.