OpenAI’s board ousted CEO Sam Altman, the company announced in a blog post. The sudden departure comes with the board stating that it lost faith in Altman to run the company and that he was not honest in his communications. Altman has also been removed from the board of directors.
“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 blog post reads. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
Altman served as the public face of OpenAI at events like its recent DevDay and on stage at events with Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, making the departure even more shocking. In some ways, he’s served as a face for AI in general, testifying before Congress on the matter.
Effective immediately, Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, will take over as interim CEO. Murati joined the company in 2018. The company plans to conduct a search for a new permanent executive.
Greg Brockman, who co-founded OpenAI, is stepping down from his board chairman role but will remain president at the company, reporting directly to the CEO.
OpenAI is arguably the leader in the generative AI space and has been valued at over $80 billion. Some of that investment has come from Microsoft, which made a multi-billion investment in the company and has leveraged OpenAI’s ChatGPT technology to underpin AI in Bing and Copilot.
“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,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Tom’s Hardware in an email.
Beyond ChatGPT, which took the world by storm last year, it also makes the DALL-E image generator.
Altman has his hands in several other products, including holding a stake in Humane, which just announced its AI pin. Additionally, he’s involved in WorldCoin, a cryptocurrency that also serves as proof of identity, and has reportedly spoken with designer Jony Ive and SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son about creating mainstream AI hardware.