In a statement, the company said that the board of directors no longer trusts Altman’s ability to lead OpenAI. Mira Murati, the company’s current chief technology officer, will take over on an interim basis
OpenAI announced on Friday that its current CEO Sam Altman will step down, following a decision by the company’s board of directors. In his place, Mira Murati, the company’s current chief technology officer, who is responsible for products such as ChatGPT and Dall-E, will take over on an interim basis.
“Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications, impairing his ability to carry out his responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI,” the company said in a statement.
Sam Altman posted on social media about his departure from the company. “I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me personally and, I hope, for the world a little. Above all, I loved working with such talented people. I’ll have more to say about what’s next later,” he posted on X, formerly Twitter.
OpenAI’s introduction of ChatGPT to the world turned Altman, 38, into an instant celebrity, gaining an audience with world leaders including US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
He is an outspoken figure in the AI community, aligning himself with a group of evangelists who have pioneered and advanced the technologies, while warning of their potential to wipe out humanity.
His departure came as a surprise to those inside and outside the company: Altman was still sending regular emails to employees late on Friday morning, according to a person familiar with the matter.
As CEO, Altman turned OpenAI into the most important AI company in the world. Recently, the company was in talks to sell employee shares to investors at a valuation of $86 billion.
ChatGPT and OpenAI’s image generator, Dall-E, have brought generative AI into the mainstream. Both tools use a technology that trains on large amounts of digital data and can produce human-like content, such as images, text and code, on demand.
Generative AI is a technology that trains on vast areas of digital data and can produce human-like content, such as images, text and code, on demand.
Founded in 2015, the company launched ChatGPT about a year ago, sparking great interest in the sector. Around 100 million people use the service every week, the company announced in November. More than 90% of Fortune 500 companies are building tools on OpenAI’s platform.
The company supplies its software to businesses and is on track to have annual revenues of around $1 billion, Bloomberg reported in August.
At the same time, OpenAI faces growing competition from well-funded rival products developed by other startups and tech giants, including Alphabet’s Google.
The board of directors responsible for the decision is made up of OpenAI’s chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, independent directors, Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner of Georgetown’s Center for Security and Technology.
“We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is needed as we move forward. As the leader of the company’s research, product and security functions, Mira is uniquely qualified to take on the role of interim CEO. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead OpenAI through this transition period,” the board said in a statement.