On November 17th, OpenAI’s board abruptly announced that co-founder and CEO Sam Altman was out, effective immediately. Without saying it directly, the board revealed Altman was fired after a review “concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.”
OpenAI’s chief technology officer, Mira Murati, has been appointed interim CEO for now.
One day later, sources told The Verge that the board is in discussions with Sam Altman about bringing him back as its CEO.
On Sunday (19th Nov 2023) night, those talks fell apart, and now former Twitch boss Emmett Shear will be the new interim CEO of OpenAI.
What caused the board to lose confidence in his ability to lead OpenAI is unknown. OpenAI employees and partners like Microsoft were surprised to learn of Altman’s ouster only moments before it was announced.
The shakeup comes just shy of one year after the launch of ChatGPT, which quickly entered mainstream conversation, became one of the fastest-growing apps in history, and initiated an industry-wide race to build generative AI tools and hardware to power them.
At OpenAI’s first developer conference just a week before his ouster, Altman said the service had over 100 million weekly users, and more than two million developers were building on the company’s APIs.