OpenAI Investors, Led by Thrive, Angle to Bring Back Altman

(Bloomberg) -- OpenAI’s investors are still trying to return co-founder Sam Altman to a leadership role at the ChatGPT maker, and Microsoft Corp. has signaled that it wouldn’t oppose such an outcome.

Thrive Capital, Khosla Ventures and Tiger Global Management are looking to secure their investment after the OpenAI board forced out Altman on Friday, according to people familiar with the matter. Altman is eager to return, said the people, who requested anonymity to discuss confidential negotiations.

On Sunday, Microsoft Corp., OpenAI’s biggest investor by far, said it was hiring Altman, former OpenAI President Greg Brockman and unnamed “colleagues” to a new Microsoft artificial intelligence unit that Altman would helm as CEO.

But Microsoft also would be amenable to Altman and Brockman returning to OpenAI — albeit with a couple of key conditions. The startup’s current board would have to resign, and OpenAI’s governance would have to change to ensure that such upheaval could never happen again, according to people familiar with the software giant’s thinking.