Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman is leaving after a ‘deliberative review process’ by the company’s board.
Sam Altman has been fired as CEO of OpenAI, the company announced on Friday.
“Mr. 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 company said in its blog post. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
Chief technology officer Mira Murati will be the interim CEO, effective immediately. The company will be conducting a search for the permanent CEO successor. When contacted by The Verge, OpenAI’s communications department declined to comment beyond the blog post. Employees at OpenAI found out about the news when it was announced publicly, according to multiple sources.
This is an extremely sudden turn of events as Altman has largely been the face of OpenAI, which arguably kickstarted the current AI arms race with last year’s hugely popular ChatGPT. Just last week, Altman keynoted at the company’s DevDay conference, where it announced a suite of major new updates to compete with other big tech companies like Microsoft and Google. Altman also spoke at Thursday’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.
Microsoft, which has invested billions in OpenAI, tells The Verge it will continue to partner with the company. “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,” according to a statement sent by Microsoft spokesperson Frank Shaw.
Altman is a co-founder of OpenAI and initially served as a co-chair of the company alongside Elon Musk. Musk left in 2018 to avoid a conflict of interest with Tesla — he has since founded his own AI company, xAI.
OpenAI also announced that co-founder Greg Brockman will be stepping down as chairman of the board, though Brockman will remain at the company.