My colleagues have spent most of the last three days trying to get ahead the twists and turns at OpenAI. Besides co-founder Sam Altman being a bona fide influencer in his own right, with 2.2 million followers on his @sama, this telenovela on warp speed intersects the creator economy in some surprising ways.
First and foremost, the embattled board of OpenAI made the surprising move of appointing Emmett Shear as its interim CEO, replacing Mira Murati, the former chief technology officer whom the board named to the position when they booted Altman on Friday. You may recall Shear in his notable position, as the leader of Twitch, the startup he co-founded as Justin.TV in 2016.
Shear stepped down as Twitch CEO in March, citing the recent birth of his son. The decision followed a tumultuous year at the helm of the dominant (but still unprofitable) streaming site, involving changes to senior staff and its revenue sharing arrangement with streamers.
Shear wasn’t the OpenAI’s board’s first choice for interim CEO, my colleagues Kate and Natasha reported Monday. And he may give a new meaning to the term “interim.” By Monday afternoon, OpenAI’s key backer Microsoft suggested anything could happen, including Altman’s return.