Major shake-up at OpenAI: Board fires 'poster boy' Sam Altman, president Brockman resigns
In a move that has sent shockwaves through the tech industry, ChatGPT-creator OpenAI on Saturday fired its most high-profile chief executive Sam Altman. Altman, the face of the artificial intelligence boom, was ousted as the company's board no longer “has confidence in his ability to continue leading”.
Mira Murati, previously OpenAI’s chief technology officer, was named interim chief executive officer. Shortly after Altman's ouster, the company's president and co-founder Greg Brockman said he was quitting.
“Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities,” the company said.
Altman, 38, took to X to share a personal note, but shared no further details on future plans. “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. will have more to say about what’s next later,” he wrote.
“I’m super proud of what we’ve all built together since starting in my apartment 8 years ago,” Brockman wrote in a post on X. “We’ve been through tough & great times together, accomplishing so much despite all the reasons it should have been impossible. But based on today’s news, I quit,” he added.
The four-member board of directors nclude Ilya Sutskever, the company’s chief scientist and co-founder, and Adam D’Angelo, chief executive of the question-and-answer site Quora.
Who is Sam Altman?
The tech entrepreneur founded OpenAI in 2015 with the financial backing of Elon Musk. Initially launched as a non-profit to create AI that was safe, the company later grew into a leader as the new of wave artificial intelligence took over the world. The AI juggernaut rose to prominence last year with the launch of ChatGPT—the path-breaking AI-based language model that has since changed the way people write everything, from mails to software codes and even recipes.
A spokesperson for the AI shift, Altman also made headlines with his comments as he testified before the Congress and US lawmakers and advised them on the need to regulate artificial intelligence, citing national security concerns.
On Thursday, too, he appeared at an event in California where he discussed the future of artists now that artificial intelligence can generate images. He was also on a panel at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in San Francisco, telling those gathered that AI could be the solution as humanity is “on a path to self-destruction”.
Altman's departure comes ahead of next round of talks for a major funding for OpenAI. Microsoft, which had entered into a massive deal with OpenAI to use its technlogy in almost all its products, issued a statement confirming that deal stands, in the wake of the new development.
Microsoft invested $13 billion in OpenAI and has what amounts to a 49 percent stake in the company, NYTimes reported.