California-based OpenAI, a developer of ChatGPT, announced on Friday that it has fired Sam Altman from the board of directors as a part of the management reshuffle.
The announcement comes after the board deliberated the review process, which concluded “that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.”
Consequently, the board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.
Further details of what finally led to the ouster of Altman were not immediately clear.
In response to the announcement, Altman took X (previously Twitter) to say “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.”
Besides Altman, Greg Brockman, president and co-founder of OpenAI, who stepped down from the board as chairman, quit the company.
“Based on today’s news, i quit,” he wrote on X.
The board’s decision surprised Altman and Brockman, who learned of it within minutes of the announcement.
“Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today,” says Brockman.
Notably, Altman played a significant role in convincing Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella to invest $10B into the company. Additionally, he led the company’s tender offer transactions this year, which helped increase its valuation from $29B to over $80B, nearly tripling its previous value.
The board of directors says, “OpenAI was deliberately structured to advance our mission: to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all humanity. The board remains fully committed to serving this mission. We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward. As the leader of the company’s research, product, and safety functions, Mira is exceptionally qualified to step into the role of interim CEO. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead OpenAI during this transition period.”
Meanwhile, Mira Murati, OpenAI’s CTO, will serve as interim CEO, effective immediately.
A member of OpenAI’s leadership team for five years, Mira has played a critical role in the company’s evolution into a global AI leader.
According to OpenAI, she brings a unique skill set and understanding of the company’s values, operations, and business, and she already leads the company’s research, product, and safety functions.
Given her long tenure and close engagement with all aspects of the company, including her experience in AI governance and policy, the board believes she is uniquely qualified for the role. It anticipates a seamless transition while it conducts a formal search for a permanent CEO.
Currently, OpenAI’s board of directors consists of OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, independent directors Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology’s Helen Toner.