Daily Management Review

OpenAI, The Creator Of Chatgpt, Fires CEO Sam Altman


OpenAI, The Creator Of Chatgpt, Fires CEO Sam Altman
Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI and, for many, the face of generative AI, was sacked by the board of the company that created ChatGPT, shocking the tech community.
The business announced that Mira Murati, Chief Technology Officer of OpenAI, will take on the role of acting CEO in the interim and that a formal search for a new CEO will be carried out.
"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, the president and co-founder of OpenAI, announced his resignation from the firm late on Friday on messaging platform X. Brockman also resigned as chairman of the board as part of the management transition. "I'm quitting based on today's news," he wrote.
Many employees were taken aback by the rapid management transition, which they learned about through an internal communication and the company's publicly accessible blog. Both Brockman and Altman were taken aback by the board's decision, as Brockman revealed, as they discovered it minutes after it was made public.
"We too are still trying to figure out exactly what happened," he posted on X, formerly Twitter, adding, "We will be fine. Greater things coming soon."
Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI's chief scientist, and three independent directors who do not own any stock make up the board of four now. A request for response on Brockman's assertions was not immediately answered by the organisation.
With the help of billions of dollars from Microsoft, which is not represented on the board of the non-profit regulating the firm, OpenAI released ChatGPT in November of last year, sparking the generative AI craze. One of the software applications with the greatest growth rates in the world is the chatbot.
Generative AI, which has been trained on reams of data, can produce content that is human-like, assisting users in writing term papers, finishing science assignments, and even whole novels. Following ChatGPT's debut, authorities hurried to catch up: the United States began regulating AI, while the European Union updated its AI Act.
Altman is an investor and serial entrepreneur who founded and oversaw Y Combinator. This year, he travelled the globe as the face of OpenAI and the enormously popular generative AI technology.
Shortly after OpenAI launched its blog, Altman wrote on X: "I had a great time working at OpenAI. It changed me personally and, hopefully, the world in some small way. Above all, I enjoyed collaborating with individuals of such skill. will discuss what comes next in more detail later."
Comment inquiries were not answered by Altman.
After leaving Tesla, Murati joined OpenAI in 2018 and rose to the position of chief technical officer. She managed the introduction of several products, including ChatGPT.
Following the announcement, Murati called an emergency all-hands meeting on Friday afternoon. In an effort to reassure staff, he stated that OpenAI and Microsoft have a stable partnership and that its supporters, CEO Satya Nadella among them, still have faith in the startup, a person with knowledge of the situation told Reuters.
Details of the meeting were previously reported by the Information.
A representative for the software company told Reuters on Friday that "Microsoft remains committed to Mira and their team as we bring this next era of AI to our customers."
Nadella made the following remark, which was posted on Microsoft's website: "We have a long-term partnership with OpenAI... We will keep bringing the globe the significant advantages of this technology together.
Launched in 2015, this is not OpenAI's first shakeup. Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla, was previously the company's co-chair. Other executives left in 2020 to form the rival company Anthropic, which asserts that it places a higher priority on AI safety.
As word of the most recent shuffle spread, admirers and detractors flocked to online discussion boards.
Altman is "a hero of mine," said former Google CEO Eric Schmidt on X. "He built a company from nothing to $90 billion in value, and changed our collective world forever." I'm eager to watch what he does next. His future effort will benefit myself and billions of others; it's going to be amazing."
"This is a shocker and Altman was a key ingredient in the recipe for success of OpenAI," said Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. "That said, we believe Microsoft and Nadella will exert more control at OpenAI going forward with Altman gone."
Although the full effect of the OpenAI surprise won't become apparent for some time, its ability to raise money raised concerns right away. Altman was regarded as a brilliant fundraiser who spearheaded OpenAI's tender offer activities this year, propelling the company's valuation from $29 billion to over $80 billion. He also successfully negotiated billions of dollars in investment from Microsoft.
"In the short term it will impair OpenAI's ability to raise more capital. In the intermediate term it will be a non-issue," said Thomas Hayes, chairman at hedge fund Great Hill Capital.
While disruptive, some analysts claimed Altman's departure wouldn't hurt the popularity of generative AI, OpenAI, or Microsoft's competitive edge.
"The innovation created by OpenAI is bigger than any one or two people, and there is no reason to think this would cause OpenAI to cede its leadership position," said D.A. Davidson analyst Gil Luria. "If nothing else, Microsoft's stake and significant interest in OpenAI's progress ensure the appropriate leadership changes are being implemented."
Even on Thursday night, Altman appeared unfazed at two public appearances. He spoke on his commitment to and vision for AI with colleagues in a panel during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in San Francisco.
Later, he gave a speech on the subject of art and artificial intelligence (AI) at a Burning Man-related event in Oakland, California. The speech lasted for an hour. Altman left immediately after his discussion ended at 7:30 p.m., while appearing at ease and not indicating anything was amiss.
At the gathering, the host mentioned that Altman needed to go to another meeting.