In an unexpected turn of events, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, has been fired from his position following a deliberative review by the board.
Altman's departure, announced on OpenAI's official blog, is attributed to a lack of consistent candour in his communications with other board members, hindering the board's ability to fulfil its responsibilities.
Altman, who played a crucial role in shaping OpenAI's trajectory, will also step down from the board of directors.
“The board no longer has confidence in [Altman’s] ability to continue leading OpenAI,” the blog post reads.
In a post on X (formerly Twitter), Altman wrote that he “loved his time at OpenAI” and will have “more to say about what’s next later.”
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.
The company's board expressed a loss of confidence in Altman's leadership, prompting a search for a new CEO. Greg Brockman, co-founder and chairman of the board, will remain as OpenAI's president, reporting to the newly-appointed interim CEO, Mira Murati, who previously served as the company's CTO.
The board emphasized its commitment to OpenAI's mission of ensuring that artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefits humanity. Altman's removal comes amidst the company's active engagement with regulators and talks to raise substantial new capital.
OpenAI, originally founded as a nonprofit in 2015, underwent restructuring in 2019 as a "capped-profit" company to address the significant costs associated with training advanced AI systems. Microsoft, a major investor with a 49% stake in OpenAI, experienced a stock price dip following Altman's departure announcement.
Altman's sudden exit raises questions about the company's governance structure and potential missteps in navigating its unique board makeup. As the search for a new CEO begins, OpenAI remains committed to its mission while acknowledging the need for new leadership during this transition period.