November 18, 2023

OpenAI's Board Removes Sam Altman as CEO, Citing Lack of Consistent Candor

"The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI," a company statement conveyed.

In an unexpected turn of events, Sam Altman, the vocal and prominent CEO of the artificial intelligence technology giant OpenAI, has been ousted from his position with immediate effect.

A statement released by the company on Friday highlighted that Altman "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 statement continued. "We believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward."

This decision comes less than two weeks after Altman oversaw OpenAI's DevDay conference, where several significant enhancements to its ChatGPT generative AI service were unveiled. Just two days prior to the announcement, OpenAI had temporarily halted new paid subscriptions due to capacity constraints, following outages attributed to Russian hackers.

Simultaneously with Altman's removal, OpenAI's Chief Technology Officer, Mira Murati, has been appointed as interim CEO.

"As a member of OpenAI’s leadership team for five years, Mira has played a critical role in OpenAI’s evolution into a global AI leader,” the company stated. “She brings a unique skill set, understanding of the company’s values, operations, and business, and already leads the company’s research, product, and safety functions.”

Describing Murati as "uniquely qualified for the role", the company anticipates a smooth transition as the search for a permanent CEO commences.

"We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI," the statement acknowledged.

Altman expressed his sentiments on X, stating, "I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit."

The company also disclosed that Greg Brockman, the board chairman, would step down but remain at OpenAI as a direct report to Murati.

Brockman, a co-founder of OpenAI in 2015 and its first CTO, joined the AI firm from fintech company Stripe. Altman, in addition to his role at OpenAI, is a co-founder of Tools for Humanity, responsible for the development of the Worldcoin global crypto project. The connection between Altman's removal from OpenAI and Worldcoin remains unclear, despite Worldcoin's earlier prospects of securing significant funding this year.

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