San Francisco, 18 November 2023 (TDI): Sam Altman, co-founder of OpenAI, has departed from the company abruptly, following a loss of confidence from the board, as per a statement released on Friday by the Microsoft-supported artificial intelligence pioneer.
The decision was reached following a comprehensive review by the board, citing issues related to communication transparency that impacted the board’s ability to fulfill its responsibilities effectively.
In an official blog post, OpenAI stated, “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.”
Effective immediately, Mira Murati, the current Chief Technology Officer, will step in as the interim CEO. OpenAI has initiated a search for a permanent successor to the CEO role.
Upon reaching out for further comment, OpenAI’s communications department, as per their blog post, declined to provide additional statements beyond the official release. Employees at OpenAI learned of the news concurrently with its public announcement, as reported by multiple sources.
Expressing gratitude for his tenure, Sam Altman stated, “I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me, and hopefully the world a little bit.” He later described the experience of his departure as “sorta like reading your eulogy while you’re still alive.”
Additionally, OpenAI disclosed that co-founder and president Greg Brockman would step down as chairman of the board but would continue his association with the company. Notably, following the announcement, Brockman shared his decision to resign, echoing the unexpected nature of the event.
He detailed that both himself and Altman were informed of their removal from the board by OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever on Friday.
Sam Altman, recognized as the face of OpenAI, played a pivotal role in driving the company’s prominence, notably spearheading the highly successful launch of ChatGPT last year, which spurred the current AI advancements.
His recent appearances included leading the keynote at the inaugural DevDay conference, where OpenAI unveiled substantial updates to compete in the evolving tech landscape.
Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI, has affirmed its commitment to the company amidst these changes.
Frank Shaw, a spokesperson for Microsoft, stated, “We have a long-term partnership with OpenAI and Microsoft remains committed to Mira and their team as we bring this next era of AI to our customers.” Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella echoed this sentiment.
From Azure’s array of AI systems, models, and tools to the introduction of Copilot, our commitment is unwavering: delivering cutting-edge solutions to our customers while steadfastly constructing tomorrow’s innovations, he said.
Our enduring partnership with OpenAI stands firm, providing us unfettered access to the necessary resources for our innovation agenda and an invigorating product roadmap.