If artificial intelligence is the future, then Sam Altman was the man delivering it.
The CEO of OpenAI, which created ChatGPT, was unceremoniously given his pink slip today. The company released a statement that said:
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.
The company said that chief technology officer Mira Murati would take his place on an interim basis.
In a statement, the board of directors said: “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.”
From what I understand, Altman took no salary from OpenAI and he had no shares in the company (though some dispute this), despite founding it and growing it to a $90 billion valuation. He was independently wealthy before he helped found OpenAI.
Hopefully we will get more clarity on what happened here.
The statement also noted that Greg Brockman will be stepping down as
chairman of the board, suggesting there was some dissent around the decision.
On twitter, Altman said “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.