Sam Altman fired from the position of CEO at OpenAI. the company announced on Friday.
“The departure of Mr. Altman follows a thorough review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently forthcoming with the board in his communications, impeding his ability to fulfill his responsibilities,” the company said in its blog post. “The board does not have confidence in his ability to lead OpenAI going forward.”
Chief Technology Officer Meera Murthy will serve as interim CEO with immediate effect. The company will search for a permanent CEO. When contacted by The Verge, OpenAI’s communications department declined to comment beyond the blog post. According to multiple sources, employees at OpenAI learned about this news publicly when the announcement was made.
Sam Altman posted on X (formerly Twitter), “I really enjoyed my time at OpenAI.” “It was personally meaningful for me, and I hope it was a bit transformative for the world. I most enjoyed working with such talented people. More to say later about what’s next.”
This is an extremely sudden event. Altman has been the face of OpenAI, initiating the race for current AI capabilities with the highly popular release of GPT-3 last year. Just last week, Altman spoke as a keynote speaker at the company’s first DevDay conference, where he announced major updates to compete with other major tech companies like Microsoft and Google. Recently, Altman also spoke at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.
Altman has been quite the face of OpenAI. Microsoft, which has invested billions in OpenAI, tells The Verge that it will continue its long-term partnership with the company. According to a statement sent by Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw, “Our long-term partnership with OpenAI continues, and Microsoft remains committed to supporting Meera and her team as we bring the next era of AI to our customers.”
Altman has reportedly spoken about collaborating with former Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive on creating an “iPhone of artificial general intelligence,” although Altman recently dismissed those rumors at The Wall Street Journal conference. He is also the largest shareholder in OpenAI, having recently launched an order for his human-AI pin.
Altman co-founded OpenAI and initially worked as co-chair with Elon Musk. He left the company in 2018 to avoid conflicts of interest with Tesla. Since then, he has founded his own AI company, xAI.
OpenAI has also announced that co-founder Greg Brockman will step down as chairman of the board, although he will remain with the company.