ChatGPT maker OpenAI ousts CEO Sam Altman. The board of the company that developed ChatGPT fired Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and, for many, the face of generative AI, on Friday, shocking the tech community. The business announced that Mira Murati, Chief Technology Officer of OpenAI, will take on the role of acting CEO in the interim and that a formal search for a new CEO will be carried out.
“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 blog post read.
Greg Brockman, the president and co-founder of OpenAI, announced his resignation from the firm late on Friday on messaging platform X. Brockman also resigned as chairman of the board as part of the management transition. “I’m quitting based on today’s news,” he wrote.
The abrupt management change, which they learned about through internal communication and the company’s publicly accessible blog, surprised many employees. The board’s decision took aback both Brockman and Altman, as Brockman revealed, as they discovered it minutes after it was made public.
He wrote, “We will be fine. We too are still trying to figure out exactly what happened,” on the former Twitter platform X. Better things are on the horizon.”
Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist, and three independent directors who do not own any stock make up the board of four now. The group did not immediately answer a request for a response to Brockman’s assertions.
With the support of billions of dollars from Microsoft (MSFT.O), which does not hold a board position in the non-profit regulating the firm, OpenAI launched ChatGPT in November of last year, sparking the generative AI craze. One of the software applications with the most significant growth rates worldwide is the chatbot.
Generative AI, which has been trained on data reams, can produce human-like content, assisting users in writing term papers, finishing science assignments, and even whole novels. Following ChatGPT’s debut, authorities hurried to catch up: the United States began regulating AI, while the European Union updated its AI Act.
Altman is an investor and serial entrepreneur who founded and oversaw Y Combinator. This year, he traveled the globe as the face of OpenAI and the enormously popular generative AI technology.
Shortly after OpenAI launched its blog, Altman wrote on X: “I had a great time working at OpenAI. It changed me personally and, hopefully, the world in some small way. Above all, I enjoyed collaborating with individuals of such skill. will discuss what comes next in more detail later.”
Altman did not answer comment inquiries. After leaving Tesla, Murati joined OpenAI in 2018 and rose to the position of chief technical officer. She managed the introduction of several products, including ChatGPT.
Following the announcement, Murati called an emergency all-hands meeting for Friday afternoon. To reassure staff, he stated that OpenAI and Microsoft have a stable partnership and that its supporters, CEO Satya Nadella among them, still have faith in the startup, a person with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
Details of the meeting were previously reported by the Information A representative for the software company told Reuters on Friday that “Microsoft remains committed to Mira and their team as we bring this next era of AI to our customers.”
Nadella made the following remark posted on Microsoft’s website: “We have a long-term partnership with OpenAI… We will keep bringing the significant advantages of this technology to the globe together.
Launched in 2015, this is not OpenAI’s first shakeup. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, was previously the company’s co-chair. Other executives left in 2020 to form the rival company Anthropic, which asserts that it prioritizes AI safety.
As word of the most recent shuffle spread, admirers and detractors flocked to online discussion boards.
Altman is “a hero of mine,” said former Google CEO Eric Schmidt on X. “He built a company from nothing to $90 billion in value and changed our collective world forever.” I’m eager to watch what he does next. His future effort will benefit myself and billions of others; it will be amazing.”
Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives stated, “This is a shocker, and Altman was a key ingredient in the recipe for the success of OpenAI.” “That said, we believe Microsoft and Nadella will exert more control over OpenAI going forward with Altman gone.”
Although the full effect of the OpenAI surprise won’t become apparent for some time, its ability to raise money raised concerns immediately. Altman was regarded as a brilliant fundraiser who spearheaded OpenAI’s tender offer activities this year, propelling the company’s valuation from $29 billion to over $80 billion. He also successfully negotiated billions of dollars in investment from Microsoft.
“It will hinder OpenAI’s capacity to raise additional funds shortly. It won’t be a problem in the medium run, according to Thomas Hayes, chairman of hedge firm Great Hill Capital. While disruptive, some analysts claimed Altman’s departure wouldn’t hurt the popularity of generative AI, OpenAI, or Microsoft’s competitive edge.
“The innovation created by OpenAI is bigger than any one or two people, and there is no reason to think this would cause OpenAI to cede its leadership position,” Gil Luria, an analyst with D.A. Davidson, said. “If nothing else, Microsoft’s stake and significant interest in OpenAI’s progress ensure the appropriate leadership changes are being implemented.”
Even on Thursday night, Altman appeared unfazed at two public appearances. He spoke on his commitment to and vision for AI with colleagues in a panel during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco.
Later, he gave a speech on art and artificial intelligence (AI) at a Burning Man-related event in Oakland, California. The speech lasted an hour. Altman left immediately after his discussion ended at 7:30 p.m., appearing at ease and not indicating anything was amiss. At the gathering, the host mentioned that Altman needed to go to another meeting.