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OpenAI CEO Sam Altman departs; board claims he was "not consistently candid" with them

sam altman

In a highly surprising movie, OpenAI, the creators of the ChatGPT and Dall-E generative AI services, have parted ways with its CEO and co-founder Sam Altman. He is also no longer a member of the company's board of directors. It's not clear if Altman was fired or if he was given a chance to resign on his own.

In a press release, OpenAI stated:

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 press release did not offer any more details on what Altman reportedly did that caused the board to lose confidence in him. It did add:

We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward.

The board has named OpenAI's chief technology officer Mira Murati as its interim CEO. The board will conduct a formal search to find a new permanent CEO.

Altman has posted a statement on X (formerly Twitter). He stated he "loved my time at openai" and that "most of all i loved working with such talented people." He did not address the statement made by the company's board, saying only, "will have more to say about what’s next later."

Altman's departure comes less than two weeks after he hosted the company's first developers conference, where he revealed, among other things, its plans to offer others a way to make custom chatbots called GPTs.

OpenAI has received billions in investment money from Microsoft over the past few years, and the company has used its generative AI products to help develop its own AI services.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella even joined Altman on stage at OpenAI's developer conference. At the time, Altman said of Microsoft, "I think we have the best partnership in tech." GeekWire received a statement from Microsoft after Atlman's departure:

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.

Altman has been the public face of OpenAI, so it will be interesting to see how the company will look after today.

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