Apple Secures Observer Role on OpenAI Board in Landmark Partnership Move

Apple is set to take an observer role on OpenAI's board, with Phil Schiller selected for the position in a new partnership agreement

Apple Inc. is set to take on an observer role on OpenAI's board following a recent agreement, marking a big step in their much-debated partnership. Phil Schiller, who leads the tech giant's App Store and is its former marketing chief, has reportedly been selected for this position. He won't serve as a full-time director but board observer.

Last month, the iPhone had made an announcement that it would integrate ChatGPT into its iPhone, iPad, and Mac devices as part of its AI offerings. As per a report by Bloomberg, the company's observer role on OpenAI's board is set to begin later this year.

By securing the board observer role, Apple will be on a similar footing to Microsoft Corp., OpenAI’s major backer and primary AI technology provider.

While the observer role does not include voting rights or other director powers, it will allow the individual to attend board meetings and gain insights into the company's decision-making processes.

It is worth noting that the presence of both Microsoft and Apple in OpenAI board meetings could lead to complications, given their history as both rivals and partners.

Certain meetings will likely cover future AI initiatives involving OpenAI and Microsoft, during which Microsoft might prefer Schiller to be absent. It's common for board observers to leave meetings during sensitive discussions.

While Schiller is not in charge of Apple’s AI initiatives, his long-standing role in managing the company's brand makes him a fitting choice for the observer position, as per the report.

At 64, Schiller stepped down as head of marketing in 2020 and now holds the title of Apple Fellow. He continues to oversee the App Store and manages the company's product launch events.

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