AI Startup Reveals Sam Altman Was Abruptly Fired by Board
Sam Altman, the mastermind behind the AI-powered chatbots ChatGPT and GPT-4, has been unexpectedly ousted by the board of directors, causing a seismic shift in the tech industry.
OpenAI, backed by Microsoft, announced on Friday that the board lost confidence in Altman’s leadership capabilities, prompting a change in leadership.
According to the company, Altman’s departure came after a review that revealed he had not been entirely forthcoming in his communications with the board, hampering its ability to carry out its duties.
While expressing gratitude for Altman’s contributions, the board deemed new leadership essential for moving forward.
Although the specific reasons for Altman’s departure were not disclosed, the company appointed Mira Murati as the interim CEO while the search for a permanent replacement begins.
Following his representation of the company at an event just days before the announcement, Altman took to social media to express his affection for the team and the transformative experience of leading the company.
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.
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 17, 2023
In subsequent posts, Altman expressed his firing as a “weird experience,” comparing it to “reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive,” and hinting at potential legal actions regarding the value of his shares.
Unlike other founders, Altman did not have equity in OpenAI, making him susceptible to dismissal, as previously reported.
Altman’s sudden departure elicited strong reactions across the tech sector, including former Google CEO Eric Schmidt calling him a “hero” and OpenAI president Greg Brockman announcing his resignation shortly after the news broke.
— Greg Brockman (@gdb) November 18, 2023
In a profile published by New York Magazine in September, Altman was likened to J Robert Oppenheimer and was recognized by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in AI in 2023.
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