OpenAI ousted CEO Sam Altman, but is reportedly reconsidering the move

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2023-11-18 21:52:00
www.zdnet.com

Sam Altman of OpenAI

Photo by WPA Pool/Getty Images

Shortly before the one-year mark of ChatGPT being unveiled, on Friday, OpenAI revealed in a blog post that Sam Altman is departing his role as CEO and leaving his position on the board of directors due to a lack of confidence in his leadership abilities. 

According to the statement, Altman’s departure from the company was a result of a “deliberate review process” that found Altman at fault for not being “consistently candid” in his communications with the governing body. 

“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 board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI,” said OpenAI in the blog post. 

Later in the post, the board of directors collectively thanks Altman for his many contributions to the company, but shares that they believe new leadership is ultimately necessary as the company moves forward. 

Replacing Altman is OpenAI’s CTO Mira Murati, who will be stepping up to serve as interim CEO effective immediately as the company conducts a formal search for a permanent CEO. 

Murati has been on the OpenAI leadership team for five years, and due to Murati’s long tenure, close engagement with the company, and experience in governance and policy, the board believes she is qualified for the role. 

“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,” said the board of directors in their statement. 

OpenAI cofounder Greg Brockman also exited the company. Brockman was chairman of the board of directors and it was in his apartment that the company originally launched. 

On X, Altman posted, “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.”

However, on Saturday reports surfaced that the board has reconsidered its decision — under pressure from investors and reported staff resignations — and asked Altman to return as CEO. 

We’ve reached out to OpenAI for comment and will follow up with more information as the story develops.




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