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18 Nov, 2023
1 min time to read

Sudden departures follow board's concerns over communication and chief technology officer Mira Murati named interim CEO.

In an unexpected turn of events, Sam Altman, the face of OpenAI, has been fired as CEO, and co-founder and president Greg Brockman has stepped down as chairman, the company announced on Friday. The decisions were made following a board review that determined Altman's lack of consistent transparency in communications, leading to a loss of confidence in his leadership capabilities.

The company's official blog post stated,

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 sudden change in leadership was communicated to OpenAI employees publicly, and the company's communications department declined to provide additional comments beyond the blog post.

Effective immediately, Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati will serve as the interim CEO, while the company initiates a search for a permanent successor.

Altman, expressing his sentiments on X, shared, "I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit." He also described his dismissal as "sorta like reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive."

Greg Brockman, who initially planned to step down as chairman but remain at the company, later announced on X that he had quit "based on the day's news."

Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI, has confirmed its commitment to the partnership despite the leadership changes. Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw stated, "We have a long-term partnership with OpenAI, and Microsoft remains committed to Mira and their team as we bring this next era of AI to our customers."

The sudden leadership shake-up raises questions about the future direction of OpenAI and its role in the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence.

With Altman and Brockman's departure, OpenAI's board now consists mostly of external members, including the company's chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner from Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology.