In most public companies, board members are appointed by the owners. This is not the case with OpenAI, which maintains many rules from its early days as a non-profit. The OpenAI board can set its size, bring in new members, and remove members without consulting the company’s stakeholders. It’s all done by majority vote.
Earlier this year, several board members left – leaving six people in charge of the company. Two of those people were Altman and Brockman. That led to Altman being fired as four board members wanted him gone, and there was little anyone could do about it.
There is logic behind this plan. Most of the board members do not have a financial stake in the company that is making a profit. The organization is designed to operate independently from the rest of the industry – its main goal is to complete the OpenAI project. In theory, it’s a form of protection. Although profit-driven capitalists can throw ideas on the screen to increase capital, the corporation has no money in the company and cannot be punished for going against investors. It would therefore eliminate any possible violation. Unfortunately, as we have seen recently, it can also backfire.