Open AI CEO Sam Altman has been fired from his own company for allegedly “being not consistently open in his communications.” The company’s board released a statement on Friday, November 17, saying it lacks confidence in Altman’s ability to lead. Hence, new leadership is necessary in the startup moving forward.
It remains unknown the matters Sam Altman kept from the board. Consequently, Greg Brockman also stepped down as chair of the board but still remains OpenAI’s president. Both Sam and Greg announced their fates on their official X accounts, catching netizens by surprise.
Nonetheless, Mira Murati stepped up as the interim CEO after five years of holding the CTO position at the company. News of the shakeup also caught OpenAI employees off guard. Most of them learned of the events from an internal announcement and the company’s public blog.
OpenAI’s new CEO Murati held an emergency meeting with his staff and dropped the news. Murati also assured employees that the company’s partnership with Microsoft remains stable. Microsoft’s stocks declined on Friday evening, shortly after news of the firing broke out.
However, the software company has assured the world that Sam’s dismissal will not affect its relationship with OpenAI. Microsoft has been OpenAI’s business partner for quite a while. According to reports, it plans on investing more billions this year into the company’s Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) project.
Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO, expressed his confidence in the AI company through a statement released on Microsoft’s website. “We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI … Together, we will continue to deliver the meaningful benefits of this technology to the world.”
Sam Altman’s departure comes a day after he addressed the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) conference in San Francisco. Sam shared in the conference that AI will be the greatest leap forward of any big technological revolution we’ve had so far. The 38-year-old helped found OpenAI in 2015.
OpenAI started as a nonprofit with a $ 1 billion backing from Elon Musk and LinkedIn CEO, Reid Hoffman among other big investors. Elon and Altman worked as co-chairs with a goal “to advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole. Unconstrained by a need to generate financial return”.
However, in 2019, OpenAI changed course to a profit-oriented company with Sam Altman as its CEO. In November 2022, the company launched Chat GPT which garnered over 100 million users in a year. This elevated Sam’s profile as he’s since been dubbed “Father of Chat GPT” and “modern age Oppenheimer.”
Subscribe to Switch TV
Sam has since urged for regulations towards Chat GPT and warned that technology comes with risks as it shapes society. He also actively led efforts to build an AGI that will have the ability to complete any tasks humans can achieve. The middle-aged genius has been likened to other Silicon Valley wunderkinds.
Altman dropped out of Stanford University in 2005 and launched a social networking app called Loopt. He later sold the app for Ksh 6.5 billion ($ 43 million). Later on, in 2014, he was appointed president of startup accelerator Y Combinator. He however left in 2020 to focus on OpenAI.