Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky was actively involved in advocating for and advising ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in the run-up to his reinstatement “in principle” to the generative AI company, according to multiple published reports. OpenAI announced that deal for Altman’s return Tuesday.

Skift reported earlier in the week about the close years-long friendship between Altman and Chesky, and that the Airbnb CEO could be in line for an OpenAI board seat if Altman indeed returned.

The Information reported Thursday that Chesky was among a small pack of Silicon Valley heavyweights working behind the scenes for Altman’s return to the company he co-founded.

“Among them was Brian Chesky, the well-known co-founder and CEO of travel behemoth Airbnb, who has spent the past five days as a behind-the-scenes adviser to Altman,” The Information story said. “At one point he even acted like a media spokesperson by tweeting, and then deleting, a post saying that Altman and his OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman would soon have a statement to share.”

The Information added: “Chesky’s backing became one of Altman’s most important in the saga. Chesky was among the small circle of tech insiders on Tuesday negotiating for Altman’s return and for the composition of a new board of directors, a person familiar with the matter said.”

That story also said that Chesky wasn’t a favorite to win a highly coveted slot on a reconstituted OpenAI board precisely because Chesky and Altman are so tight.

After the sudden ousting last week, the OpenAI board has agreed “in principle” Tuesday for Altman to return as CEO. A new board is being instituted and will include former Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo and the former Salesforce CEO Bret Taylor as the chair.

In an X post, OpenAI’s account wrote, “We have reached an agreement in principle for Sam Altman to return to OpenAI as CEO with a new initial board of Bret Taylor (Chair), Larry Summers, and Adam D’Angelo. We are collaborating to figure out the details. Thank you so much for your patience through this.”

Sam Altman added: “i love openai, and everything i’ve done over the past few days has been in service of keeping this team and its mission together. when i decided to join msft on sun evening, it was clear that was the best path for me and the team. with the new board and w satya’s support, i’m looking forward to returning to openai, and building on our strong partnership with msft.”

Skift Executive Editor Dennis Schaal contributed to this report.