In a surprising shift at the helm of OpenAI, parent company of popular AI chatbot ChatGPT, Sam Altman has been ousted from the company, paving the way for Mira Murati, the Chief Technology Officer, to assume the role of interim CEO.
“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 board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI,” the company said in a blog on Friday.
While OpenAI did not mention why it can no longer confide in Altman, the tech world was abuzz when news broke with social media platforms going frenzy with mixed reactions and speculations. Talking about his time at the company, Altman wrote on X, formerly Twitter, that “it was transformative” and “he will have more to say about what’s next later.”
i loved my time at openai. it was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. most of all i loved working with such talented people.
will have more to say about what’s next later.
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 17, 2023
Meanwhile, as part of these changes, OpenAI’s President and co-founder Greg Brockman will also step down as chairman of the board but will continue his role within the company, reporting to the CEO. Brockman wrote on X that he and Altman are “shocked and saddened” by what the board did and are still in the process to figure out exactly what happened.
Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today.
Let us first say thank you to all the incredible people who we have worked with at OpenAI, our customers, our investors, and all of those who have been reaching out.
We too are still trying to figure out exactly…
— Greg Brockman (@gdb) November 18, 2023
The board, comprising OpenAI’s Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner of Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology, expressed their full confidence in now interim chief Mira Murati, who has significantly influenced OpenAI’s growth and strategic direction.
Murati’s five-year tenure with OpenAI has seen her deeply involved in key aspects of the organization, including AI governance and policy. Her comprehensive understanding of the company’s values and operations, coupled with her leadership in research, product development, and safety initiatives, positions her as an ideal candidate for guiding OpenAI during this transition.
This leadership change comes at a pivotal time for OpenAI, as it continues to navigate the evolving landscape of artificial intelligence and its impact on society. The appointment of Murati as interim CEO is seen as a strategic move to maintain the momentum and integrity of OpenAI’s ambitious endeavors until the company completes its Search to identify a permanent successor.