The ouster of Sam Altman by the previous OpenAI board was the culmination of several issues around Altman’s strategic maneuvering and a “perceived lack of transparency” in his communications with directors, the media reported.

At one point, during the discussions about Altman’s possible return as CEO, he offered to publicly apologize for “misrepresenting some board members’ views in conversations when he was lobbying for a director’s removal,” reports Bloomberg, citing sources.

“But the board was concerned that an apology in relation to one incident could make it sound like it was the sole reason he had been fired,” the report added. The OpenAI board is currently doing an independent investigation into what happened during Altman’s ouster.

“We look forward to the findings of the board’s independent review. Our primary focus remains on developing and releasing useful and safe AI, and supporting the new board as they work to make improvements to our governance structure,” an OpenAI spokesperson was quoted as saying.

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Board members began talking about whether to remove Altman earlier in the fall.

“The board had heard from some senior executives at OpenAI who had issues with Altman,” the report mentioned.

The members were worried that the CEO wasn’t always fully transparent. Fresh details emerged in Altman’s ousting from OpenAI earlier this month, with a new report claiming that the company’s old board deliberately excluded Microsoft after initially voting to expel Altman as CEO.

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The New Yorker reported that Microsoft executives, including Chairman and CEO Satya Nadella, were blindsided by the decision to oust Altman. Several people in Microsoft found the OpenAI board’s decision “mind-bogglingly stupid” and felt it could destroy the ChatGPT developer.

“When Nadella recovered from his shock over Altman’s firing, he called an OpenAI board member, Adam D’Angelo, and pressed him for details,” the report mentioned.

OpenAI’s new board consists of chair Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo, the only remaining holdout from the previous board. Microsoft is a major investor in OpenAI, with a 49 per cent stake in the for-profit entity.