OpenAI's Shakeup: CEO Sam Altman Ousted in Leadership Transition


3 min read

OpenAI's Shakeup: CEO Sam Altman Ousted in Leadership Transition

On Nov 17th 2023, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI was fired by their Board!

Just 10 days before OpenAI had its first DevDay Conference.

Sam Altman's Dev Day Speeches were trending about GPT 4 Turbo & GPTs and a few weeks before he was at the AI Safety Summit in the UK.

It was touching to read his tweet about leaving OpenAI.

Sam Altman tweet about OpenAI Firing him

Greg Brockman, Co-founder, President and Chair of the Board explained what had happened over Twitter:

Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today. Let us first say thank you to all the incredible people who we have worked with at OpenAI, our customers, our investors, and all of those who have been reaching out. We too are still trying to figure out exactly what happened. Here is what we know: - Last night, Sam got a text from Ilya asking to talk at noon Friday. Sam joined a Google Meet and the whole board, except Greg, was there. Ilya told Sam he was being fired and that the news was going out very soon. - At 12:19pm, Greg got a text from Ilya asking for a quick call. At 12:23pm, Ilya sent a Google Meet link. Greg was told that he was being removed from the board (but was vital to the company and would retain his role) and that Sam had been fired. Around the same time, OpenAI published a blog post. - As far as we know, the management team was made aware of this shortly after, other than Mira who found out the night prior. The outpouring of support has been really nice; thank you, but please don’t spend any time being concerned. We will be fine. Greater things coming soon.

Even OpenAI published a post on its blog here

The Board of Directors of OpenAI, said that Sam Altman will leave his job as CEO and the leadership team. Mira Murati, the company's top tech person, will take over as temporary CEO right away.

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.

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.

While we have all been indirectly using AI through movie recommendations on Netflix, it is Sam Altman's OpenAI and ChatGPT that have made a significant impact on the general public through Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). The release of ChatGPT has accelerated utilization, advancements, collaboration, conversation, and collective speculation about the technology's cultural and marketing applications on a larger scale than anything before it. Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, holds the unofficial top spot on the 2023 Forbes World's Most Influential CMOs list.

Is history repeating itself? In 1985, Steve Jobs faced a similar power struggle with the board and was fired, only to be later reinstated. Is Sam Altman experiencing the days of Steve Jobs, or is he in the early days of Facebook? Only time will tell.

For sharing any interesting details, please reach out to us through a direct message on Linkedin: Saran