Phil Schiller to Join OpenAI’s Board as Observer →

Mark Gurman, writing at Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. will get an observer role on OpenAI’s board as part of a landmark agreement announced last month, further tightening ties between the once-unlikely partners.

Phil Schiller, the head of Apple’s App Store and its former marketing chief, was chosen for the position, according to people familiar with the situation. As a board observer, he won’t be serving as a full-fledged director, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter isn’t public.

It’ll be good to have an adult in the room over there. Gurman continues:

The board observer role will put Apple on par with Microsoft Corp., OpenAI’s biggest backer and its main AI technology provider. The job allows someone to attend board meetings without being able to vote or exercise other director powers. Observers, however, do gain insights into how decisions are made at the company.

Having Microsoft and Apple sit in on board meetings could create complications for the tech giants, which have been rivals and partners over the decades. Some OpenAI board meetings will likely discuss future AI initiatives between OpenAI and Microsoft — deliberations that the latter company may want Schiller excluded from. Board observers often do oblige and exit meetings during discussions that are seen as sensitive.