San Francisco: In a surprising move, OpenAI announced the removal of CEO Sam Altman, stating that the company no longer had faith in his leadership capabilities for the Microsoft-backed firm. This decision comes a year after the creation of ChatGPT.
The company revealed in a blog post on Friday that OpenAI’s board no longer has confidence in Altman’s ability to lead the organisation.
The post said that Altman’s departure came after “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.”
Reportedly, now, Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati will step in as interim CEO, and a search is underway to find a permanent successor..
“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,” posted Altman on X.
Altman’s departure is surprising given his role as a prominent figure in the AI revolution and a key influencer in shaping the industry. Since the introduction of ChatGPT, major tech companies have strived to compete with OpenAI, and world leaders have sought Altman’s insights and investments.
According to The Washington Post, in Silicon Valley, Altman was recognised as a savvy investor and supporter of smaller companies. The rise of OpenAI elevated him to the status of tech titans such as Elon Musk, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, and even the late Apple CEO Steve Jobs.
Just last week, Altman presented OpenAI’s new roadmap to enthusiastic developers at the company’s inaugural conference.
The blog post also announced that Greg Brockman, another co-founder of OpenAI, would step down as the chair of the company’s board but remain with the organisation.
Originally established as a nonprofit in 2015, OpenAI aimed to prevent advanced AI from falling into the hands of monopolistic corporations. However, after receiving a significant investment from Microsoft in 2019, the company transitioned to a for-profit structure.
OpenAI continues to assert its commitment to building AI for the benefit of humanity, but recent developments suggest a more conventional business approach.
In May, the company initiated a hiring spree, attracting executives from Meta, Apple, and Amazon Web Services. Altman’s global engagements with world leaders and developers, coupled with the company’s expansion in San Francisco, underscore a shift in OpenAI’s trajectory from its original nonprofit mission, The Washington Post reported.