It's been one of the most chaotic weekends ever in the tech industry. Late on Friday, ChatGPT creator OpenAI co-founder and CEO Sam Altman was fired from his position by its board of directors. However, later in the weekend, there was an effort to bring back Altman, but those talks eventually failed. Microsoft announced earlier this morning it would hire Altman and other former members of OpenAI to help form a new advanced AI team at the company.
In the middle of all this, OpenAI ditched its first interim CEO, Mira Murati, and put in former Twitch CEO Emmett Sheer late on Sunday night in the new leadership role. This morning, Sheer posted a lengthy message on his X (formerly Twitter) account to offer up some more info on what OpenAI will do next.
Today I got a call inviting me to consider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to become the interim CEO of @OpenAI. After consulting with my family and reflecting on it for just a few hours, I accepted. I had recently resigned from my role as CEO of Twitch due to the birth of my…— Emmett Shear (@eshear) November 20, 2023
Sheer stated that even with Altman and other OpenAI team members jumping ship to join Microsoft, he wrote, "Our partnership with Microsoft remains strong." However, Sheer admitted that there were problems with how the company chose to cut ties with Altman on Friday:
. . . it’s clear that the process and communications around Sam’s removal has been handled very badly, which has seriously damaged our trust.
He also wrote that the board did not remove Altman "over any specific disagreement on safety, their reasoning was completely different from that."
Sheer wrote that as OpenAI's new CEO he has a three-point plan for the next 30 days. One of them is to "hire an independent investigator to dig into the entire process leading up to this point and generate a full report." He also plans to "speak to as many of our employees, partners, investors, and customers as possible" and finally he says he will "reform the management and leadership team." Sheer says that, based on what he learns in the next 30 days, there could be big changes at OpenAI including "significant governance changes if necessary"