December 8, 2023

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Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, has been removed by the company’s board of directors

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, has been removed by the company’s board of directors

Sam Altman, the prominent CEO of OpenAI who became the face of the AI ​​boom in the technology industry, has been fired from the company by its board of directors, OpenAI said in a statement. Blog post Friday afternoon.

The move led to a realignment at OpenAI, a leading AI company and maker of the popular chatbot ChatGPT. Mira Moratti, former chief technology officer at OpenAI, has been named interim CEO, the company said. Hours later, Greg Brockman, the company’s president, announced that he was resigning.

“Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process conducted by the Board of Directors, which concluded that he was not always forthright in his communications with the Board of Directors, which hindered his ability to exercise his responsibilities,” the company said in its statement. “The Board no longer trusts Mr. “His ability to continue to lead OpenAI.”

Leaving OpenAI is a stunning downfall for the master. Altman, 38, has over the past year become one of the technology industry’s most prominent executives as well as one of its most fascinating figures. Last fall, OpenAI set off an industry-wide AI frenzy when it launched ChatGPT.

It was not immediately clear what led to the Board of Directors’ decision other than what was stated in its statement. Mr. Altman could not immediately be reached for comment. In a post on X, formerly Twitter, he wrote: “I loved my time at openai. It was transformative for me personally, and hopefully some for the world. Most of all I loved working with such talented people. Will have more To say what’s next later.”

In a message to X on Friday evening, Mr. Brockman said that he and Mr. Altman had no warning about the board’s decision. “Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today,” he wrote. “We are also still trying to figure out exactly what happened.”

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Mr. Altman was asked to join a video meeting with the board on Friday afternoon and was immediately fired, according to Mr. Brockman. Mr. Brockman said that although he was chairman of the board, he was not part of that board meeting.

He said that the Council informed him of Altman was fired minutes later. Around the same time, the council published a blog post.

Longtime technology entrepreneur, Mr. Altman helped found OpenAI with financial backing from Elon Musk in 2015. He has led the small San Francisco company into rarefied territory — a technology leader funded by billions of dollars from Microsoft and the envy of Silicon Valley giants like Google and Meta, the parent company of Facebook.

Mr. Altman has also become a spokesman for the technology industry’s shift toward artificial intelligence, testifying before Congress and charming lawmakers and regulators around the world. Many in the industry believe that artificial intelligence is the biggest technological shift in generations, and no one has done more to stir up mainstream enthusiasm for it than Mr. Trump. Altman.

On Thursday evening, Mr. Altman appeared at an event in Oakland, California, where he discussed the future of art and artists now that artificial intelligence is able to generate images, videos, sounds and other forms of art on its own. He has given no indication that he will leave OpenAI, and has repeatedly said that he and the company will continue to work alongside artists and help ensure their futures are bright.

Earlier in the day, he appeared at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation CEO Summit in San Francisco with Laurene Powell Jobs, founder and chairman of the Emerson Collective, and executives from Meta and Google.

Contacted by telephone with Mr. Brockman declined to comment. Since OpenAI’s early days, he has been instrumental in shaping its mission and daily operations.

When OpenAI launched ChatGPT last November, the chatbot attracted hundreds of millions of users, astounding people with the way it answered questions, wrote poetry, and discussed almost any topic thrown its way.

Following the success of the chatbot, the broader tech industry has embraced so-called generative AI, technologies that can generate text, images and other media on their own. The result of more than a decade of research inside companies like OpenAI and Google, these technologies are poised to reshape everything from email programs and internet search engines to digital teachers.

OpenAI is in talks to close a new funding round that would value the company at more than $80 billion — nearly triple its value less than a year ago — and it’s unclear what Mr. OpenAI wants. Altman’s departure will affect those talks.

But his dismissal represents a blow to Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI and has up to 49% of the company’s shares. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella presented an expanded plan this year to use technology developed at OpenAI in nearly all of Microsoft’s products, from the Bing search engine to widely used business software. Mr. Altman joined him at a press event to announce the plans.

Microsoft said Friday afternoon that it plans to continue working closely with OpenAI. Mr. Nadella said in a statement The company’s long-term agreement with OpenAI gave Microsoft “full access to everything we need to deliver on our innovation agenda and exciting product roadmap.” He added that the company remains committed to “our partnership, to Mira and the team.”

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Microsoft’s share price fell more than 1% in the last 30 minutes of trading, after Altman’s departure was announced.

In a letter to OpenAI employees, seen by The New York Times, the woman said: Moratti said she had spoken with Mr. Nadella and Microsoft’s chief technology officer, Kevin Scott, on Friday that they remained supportive of OpenAI.

“We are now at a critical juncture where our tools are widely adopted, developers are actively building on our platforms and policymakers are deliberating about how best to regulate these systems,” she wrote. “It is more important than ever that we remain focused, driven and true to our core values.”

OpenAI’s four-member Board of Directors consists of a mix of respected AI researchers, technology executives, and AI policy experts, including Ilya Sutskever, the company’s chief scientist and co-founder, and Adam D’Angelo, CEO of the Q&A Foundation. Quora website. Board members could not immediately be reached for comment.

Current and former OpenAI employees were shocked by this news. On Friday morning, they were discussing Mr. Altman sounds like he has a long future with the company. Researchers, entrepreneurs and investors outside the company were equally surprised, many of whom were quick to pinpoint the reason behind the OpenAI board’s decision.

Jack Altman, one of Mr. Altman’s younger brothers and the CEO of business software startup Lattice defended his brother in X.

He wrote: “More importantly than being one of the most intelligent and influential people our industry has ever seen, Sam is one of the most generous and caring people I know. I have never met someone who supports and sustains more people around him than he does. He couldn’t be a prouder brother.” “