The former boss of leading artificial intelligence company OpenAI has posted a photo of himself at his headquarters, following reports he will return after being sacked on Friday.
Writing on X, formerly Twitter, Sam Altman was pictured holding a guest ID card and commented: “First and last time I wear one of these”.
The 38-year-old helped launch the company that created the popular ChatGPT bot.
On Friday the board fired Altman saying they had lost confidence in him.
However, reports this weekend indicated that investors and employees are pushing for Altman to be rehired.
According to technology news site The Information, Altman and Greg Brockman – another co-founder who stepped down on Friday as company president – were invited to the company’s San Francisco headquarters for talks on Sunday.
The BBC has contacted OpenAI for comment.
Altman was seen as one of the most influential figures in the fast-growing field of generative AI and his ouster sent shockwaves through the industry.
In a letter Friday, the company’s board of directors accused him of not being “consistently truthful in his communications with the board, thereby impeding the board’s ability to carry out its responsibilities.”
The board did not specify what he was accused of dishonesty about.
However, whatever concerns the board had on Friday may have been superseded by the global reaction to the decision. There may also be concerns that Altman will set up a rival company and take OpenAI’s best talent with him.
Reports this weekend suggested that his dismissal had angered current and former employees who feared it would affect future $86 billion (£69 billion; €79 billion) in share sales.
The company’s venture capitalist backers and tech giant Microsoft – which has a $10 billion stake in OpenAI – are also calling for his return, according to the FT.
Sources say there have been some sleepless nights in Seattle, the headquarters of Microsoft, which has also integrated OpenAI technology into its applications.
If Altman does return, some speculate he might demand the creation of a new board of directors.
Dan Ives of investment firm Wedbush Securities told BBC News he believes Altman will return as chief executive of OpenAI.
“The board clearly overreacted. I would almost call it a coup attempt, in an attempt to get Altman out. But it will backfire,” Ives said.
“I expect the board will be out in the next 24 hours and Altman will be back. He’s the golden boy of AI. That’s what Microsoft and other investors continue to focus on.”
OpenAI is widely seen as a company at its peak, with profitable investments, and ChatGPT – which launched almost a year ago – is used by millions of people.
Altman has been the face of the company’s revival. More than that, he is seen by many as the face of the industry more broadly.
He testified before a US Congressional hearing to discuss the opportunities and risks posed by this new technology and also appeared at the world’s first AI Security Summit in the UK in early November.
His ouster prompted an outpouring of support from Silicon Valley bigwigs, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt who called Altman “my hero” and said he had “changed our collective world forever.”