OpenAI said on Friday that Sam Altman had been sacked as CEO.
The business stated in a blog post that Mr. Altman’s departure came after a thorough review process by the board, which found that he wasn’t always honest in their discussions, which made it harder for the board to carry out its duties. “The board no longer believes he can lead OpenAI in the future.”
With immediate effect, Mira Murati, the chief technology officer, will serve as the acting CEO. The business is going to start looking for a long-term CEO replacement. The Verge was contacted by OpenAI’s communications department, but they declined to comment on anything other than the blog post. Multiple sources claim that after the news was made public, OpenAI employees learned about it.
“I had a great time working at OpenAI,” Altman wrote on X (previously Twitter). It changed me personally and, hopefully, the world in some small way. He compared the experience of being fired to “reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive” in a later piece.
In the same release, OpenAI indicated that president and co-founder Greg Brockman will continue to work for the firm but relinquish his position as chairman of the board. Brockman posted on X a few hours after it was published, stating that he had resigned “based on today’s news.”
i loved my time at openai. it was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. most of all i loved working with such talented people.— Sam Altman (@sama) November 17, 2023
will have more to say about what’s next later.
Afterwards, in a different post on X, Brockman stated that Ilya Sutskever, the chief scientist and co-founder of OpenAI, informed him and Altman that they had been removed from the board on Friday. Brockman commented, “What the board did today shocked and saddened Sam and me.”
Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today.— Greg Brockman (@gdb) November 18, 2023
Let us first say thank you to all the incredible people who we have worked with at OpenAI, our customers, our investors, and all of those who have been reaching out.
We too are still trying to figure out exactly…
This change in events is really abrupt. Altman has served as the public face of OpenAI, the organization that released ChatGPT last year, sparking the current AI arms race. At the business’s inaugural DevDay conference only last week, Altman delivered the keynote address and the company unveiled a number of significant new releases aimed at taking on rival large tech firms like Microsoft and Google. Altman most recently gave a speech at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting on Thursday.
Microsoft, which has made billion-dollar investments in OpenAI, confirms to The Verge that it will keep working with the startup. Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw issued out a statement saying, “We have a long-term partnership with OpenAI and Microsoft remains committed to Mira and their team as we bring this next era of AI to our customers.” Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, stated the same thing about X.
As you saw at Microsoft Ignite this week, we're continuing to rapidly innovate for this era of AI, with over 100 announcements across the full tech stack – from AI systems, models, and tools in Azure, to Copilot. Most importantly, we're committed to delivering all of this to our…— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 17, 2023
At a recent Wall Street Journal conference, Altman brushed down reports that he had discussed creating the “iPhone of artificial intelligence” with former Apple chief design officer Jony Ive. In addition, he holds the largest stake in Humane, which just opened orders for its Humane AI Pin.
In the beginning, Altman and Elon Musk co-chaired OpenAI, where they are co-founders. In order to prevent a conflict of interest with Tesla, Musk departed in 2018. Since then, he established xAI, his own AI startup.
OpenAI’s board is primarily made up of outsiders, in contrast to boards of traditional private companies. Following the exits of Altman and Brockman, Ilya Sutskever, the chief scientist of the company, Adam D’Angelo, the CEO of Quora, Tasha McCauley, the former CEO of GeoSim Systems, and Helen Toner, the director of strategy at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, are the board members still in place.