OpenAI’s Sam Altman exits as CEO because ‘board no longer has confidence’ in his ability to lead

Technology

Sam Altman, Chief Executive Officer of OpenAI, and Mira Murati, Chief Technology Officer of OpenAI, speak during The Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech Live Conference in Laguna Beach, California on October 17, 2023. 
Patrick T. Fallon | Afp | Getty Images

OpenAI’s board of directors said Friday that Sam Altman will step down as CEO and will be replaced by chief technology officer Mira Murati.

The board said that it conducted “a deliberative review process” and “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,” the firm said.

The board of directors of OpenAI, Inc, which is the 501(c)(3) that governs the high-profile research lab, is comprised of the firm’s chief scientist Ilya Sutskever and independent directors like Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner of the Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology.

The OpenAI board also said that the firm’s president Greg Brockman “will be stepping down as chairman of the board and will remain in his role at the company, reporting to the CEO.”

OpenAI, which has raised billions of dollars from Microsoft, jumped into the mainstream late last year after releasing its AI chatbot ChatGPT to the public. The service went viral by allowing users to convert simple text into creative conversation and has pushed big tech companies like Alphabet and Meta to step up their investments in generative AI.

OpenAI launched as a non-profit model in 2015 with backing from Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who reportedly committed $1 billion to the project. Before taking over as CEO, Altman was president of startup accelerator Y-Combinator and gained prominence in Silicon Valley as an early-stage investor. Earlier in his career, he started social networking company Loopt.

Sam Altman did not immediately respond to a request for more information.

Lora Kolodny contributed reporting

Watch: ChatGPT creator Sam Altman reflects on the Senate’s AI regulatory hearing.

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