OpenAI, the company specializing in artificial intelligence, announced the dismissal of Sam Altman, its executive director and co-founder. This change in direction comes following a loss of confidence in Altman on the part of the board of directors. Mira Murati will take the position on an interim basis.
Dismissal and departure from the board of directors
The board of directors ofOpenAI, Inc.the 501(c)(3) organization that acts as the overall governing body for all OpenAI activities, announced in a blog post that Sam Altman will step down as Executive Director and step down from the Board of Directors. The departure follows an internal review process conducted by the board which concluded that he was not always truthful in his communications, which hindered his ability to carry out his responsibilities.
The board no longer has confidence in his skills to continue leading OpenAI. Therefore Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, will take the position on an interim basis. She is responsible for the development of ChatGPT and brings a unique set of skills and understanding of the company’s values, operations and business.
OpenAI’s mission and the need for a change in leadership
OpenAI was created with the primary mission of ensuring thatgeneral artificial intelligence (AGI) benefits all of humanity. The company believes that a change in leadership is necessary to preserve this mission and the principles of its Charter.
Departure comes just days after Sam Altman led his first developer conference DevDay, where he presented GPT-4 Turbo and GPTs. There he revealed that ChatGPT already had 100 million weekly users.
The reasons for Sam Altman’s dismissal
According to the official statement, OpenAI fired Sam Altman due to a lack of self-confidence. After conducting a review process, she discovered that he was not sincere in his communications with the board. The company does not mention specific incidents, but gives some clues about the departure of its co-founder.
- Restructuring to ensure capital inflow
- Microsoft’s multibillion-dollar investment in early 2023
The OpenAI Board of Directors emphasizes the Board’s fundamental responsibility to promote OpenAI’s mission and preserve the principles of its Charter.
Mira Murati, Acting Chief Technology Officer
Given that Sam Altman is no longer trusted, the person best qualified to lead during this transition period is Mira Murati, director of technology. The board said she was “exceptionally qualified for the position,” although it was only temporary. OpenAI confirmed that its CTO will act in an interim capacity while conducting a formal search for a permanent executive director.
Sam Altman will not be the only one affected by the restructuring. OpenAI confirmed that Greg Brockman would leave his position as chairman of the board of directors, although he will retain his position within the company.
The partnership with Microsoft and changes in priorities
OpenAI was founded in 2015 as a nonprofit organization, when Sam Altman and Elon Musk committed to advancing technology to benefit humanity. Things changed in 2019 when Microsoft invested $1 billion and announced an exclusive, multi-year partnership.
- Shift to a for-profit business
- Focus on commercial products such as GPT-4, ChatGPT or DALL-E
These changes also prompted Elon Musk’s resignation from OpenAI’s board of directors in 2018. Years later, the mogul accused Sam Altman and the company of accessing Twitter data for financial advantage.
Currently, OpenAI is divided into two entities: OpenAI Incorporated And OpenAI LP. The first is the non-profit organization founded in 2015, while the second is a for-profit subsidiary established in 2019 after the departure of Elon Musk. After the $10 billion investment, Microsoft owns 49% of OpenAI LP.