(Reuters) – Sam Altman reached an agreement with OpenAI to return as CEO on Wednesday, after a tumultuous few days following his ouster by the company’s board. He joins a list of big name “boomerang” chief executives who have made comebacks at a later date.
Here are some bosses who have reclaimed the top slot after stepping down:
APPLE – STEVE JOBS
One of the Silicon Valley’s most famous names, Apple founder Steve Jobs left the company in 1985 over differences with then CEO John Sculley. He returned in 1997 as the CEO, and resigned in 2011 just before his death.
DELL – MICHAEL DELL
Michael Dell founded Dell Inc in 1980s and held the position of CEO until 2004, when he stepped down to serve as chairman. He returned as CEO in 2007 and led the company through the merger with EMC, which resulted in the emergence of Dell Technologies.
DISNEY – ROBERT IGER
Robert Iger first became the CEO of the U.S. entertainment group in 2005. He left the position in 2020, but Disney’s board of directors asked him to return in 2022, when the company faced operating losses at its streaming unit.
STARBUCKS – HOWARD SCHULTZ
Howard Schultz served as Starbucks CEO on three separate occasions. The former NBA franchise owner launched the company’s coffeehouse model in 1980s before stepping down in 2000, only to return in 2008 for a nine-year stint. He served a final term as interim CEO from 2022 until last March.
TWITTER – JACK DORSEY
Jack Dorsey founded social media platform Twitter, now known as X, and became its CEO in 2006. In 2008, co-founder Evan Williams took over the role while Dorsey served as chairman. He became CEO again in 2015 and held the position for another six years.
UBS – SERGIO ERMOTTI
Sergio Ermotti took the reins at the Swiss bank in 2011 and stayed in the top position until 2020 when he was replaced by Ralph Hamers. He returned as CEO in 2023 amid challenges related to UBS’s takeover of peer Credit Suisse.
(Reporting by Boleslaw Lasocki and Victor Goury-Laffont in Gdansk; editing by Milla Nissi and Jane Merriman)