In a surprising turn of events, Sam Altman is set to reclaim his position as the CEO of OpenAI, bringing an end to the tumultuous boardroom struggle that has gripped the company in recent days. The attempted coup, lasting five days, witnessed Altman’s firing and subsequent resignation of former president Greg Brockman in protest. However, a new agreement in principle signals their return, accompanied by a reshaped board.

The reshuffled board, comprising Bret Taylor, Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo, aims to reset OpenAI’s governance. D’Angelo, a holdover from the previous board, provides continuity, maintaining representation from the faction that initially ousted Altman. The immediate task at hand for this small board is to vet and appoint an expanded board of up to nine members, reshaping the company’s leadership structure.

Microsoft, a significant investor with over $10 billion in OpenAI, seeks a seat on the expanded board, highlighting the broader implications of this power struggle. The company desires a say in the governance, emphasizing a desire to avoid any more unexpected developments, as stated by CEO Satya Nadella during a recent press tour.

The unfolding human drama within OpenAI is far from over, with both parties agreeing to an investigation into the recent events. An external, independent law firm is expected to conduct the inquiry, shedding light on the intricate power dynamics at play.

Altman’s return, a stark reversal from his sudden exit on Friday, caught many by surprise. The nonprofit board initially appeared steadfast in its decision to remove him, going through two interim CEOs in three days to avoid reinstating Altman. However, the strong pushback from OpenAI employees, who threatened to defect to Microsoft with Altman and Brockman, forced a reconsideration.

The absence of detailed reasoning for Altman’s firing has raised questions, with board members withholding information even in the face of potential lawsuits and employee walkouts. The reversal of key board member Ilya Sutskever to Altman’s camp, influenced by pleas from Brockman’s wife, added to the vulnerability of the remaining three board members.

Interim CEO Emmett Shear, who took over from Mira Murati, emphasized the complexity of the situation and the need for evidence to support Altman’s firing. With Altman’s return now announced, Shear sees it as a pathway that maximizes safety and does right by all stakeholders involved.

The return of Altman and Brockman has received positive responses from investors, with Thrive Capital calling it the best outcome for the company and its broader impact on the world of computing. The future of OpenAI, with its potential to be a consequential player in the history of computing, now rests on the hands of a reconfigured leadership team. The unexpected twists and turns in this saga have kept the tech world on its toes, underlining the challenges and dynamics inherent in the leadership of groundbreaking organizations.