Saturday, November 18, 2023
Web Desk

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman fired amid abrupt management shuffle

Sam Altman, the face of wildly popular AI tool ChatGPT, has been replaced with Mira Murati as interim CEO

Web Desk
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in San Francisco, California, US November 16, 2023. — Reuters
Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in San Francisco, California, US November 16, 2023. — Reuters 

  • US tech industry in shocl over Sam Altman's removal.
  • OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman steps down as chairman.
  • Mira Murati says partnership with Microsoft is stable.

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was fired by the board of the company behind ChatGPT late on Friday, sending shock waves across the US tech industry.

In his place, Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati has been appointed as interim CEO.

The announcement blindsided many employees who discovered the abrupt management shuffle from an internal announcement and the company's public facing blog.

"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," OpenAI said in the blog without elaborating.

Greg Brockman, OpenAI president and co-founder, who stepped down from the board as chairman as part of the management shuffle, quit the company, he announced on messaging platform X late on Friday. "Based on today's news, i quit," he wrote.

Backed by billions of dollars from Microsoft, OpenAI kicked off the generative AI craze last November by releasing its ChatGPT chatbot, which became one of the world's fastest-growing software applications.

Trained on reams of data, generative AI can create brand-new human-like content, helping users spin up term papers, complete science homework and even write entire novels. After ChatGPT's launch, regulators scrambled to catch up: the European Union revised its AI Act undefined and the U.S. kicked off AI regulation efforts.

Altman, who ran Y Combinator, is a serial entrepreneur and investor. He was the face of OpenAI and the wildly popular generative AI technology as he toured the world this year.

Altman posted on X shortly after OpenAI published its blog: "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."

Altman did not return requests for comment. OpenAI was not reachable for further comment.

Murati, who has worked for Tesla previously, joined OpenAI in 2018 and later became the company's chief technology officer. She oversaw products launches including ChatGPT.

At an emergency all-hands meeting on Friday afternoon after the announcement, Murati sought to calm employees and said OpenAI's partnership with Microsoft is stable and its backer's executives, including CEO Satya Nadella, continue to express confidence in the startup, a person familiar with the matter told Reuters.

The Information previously reported details of the meeting.

"Microsoft remains committed to Mira and their team as we bring this next era of AI to our customers," a spokesperson for the software maker told Reuters on Friday.

In a statement published on Microsoft's website Nadella added: "We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI ... Together, we will continue to deliver the meaningful benefits of this technology to the world."