Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI [Source: Reuters]
The board of the company behind ChatGPT late on Friday fired OpenAI CEO Sam Altman – to many, the human face of generative AI – sending shock waves across the tech industry.
OpenAI’s Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati will serve as interim CEO, the company said, adding that it will conduct a formal search for a permanent CEO.
The announcement blindsided many employees who discovered the abrupt management shuffle from an internal announcement and the company’s public facing blog.
“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,” OpenAI said in the blog without elaborating.
Greg Brockman, OpenAI president and co-founder, who stepped down from the board as chairman as part of the management shuffle, quit the company, he announced on messaging platform X late on Friday. “Based on today’s news, i quit,” he wrote.
Backed by billions of dollars from Microsoft (MSFT.O), OpenAI kicked off the generative AI craze last November by releasing its ChatGPT chatbot, which became one of the world’s fastest-growing software applications.
Trained on reams of data, generative AI can create brand-new human-like content, helping users spin up term papers, complete science homework and even write entire novels. After ChatGPT’s launch, regulators scrambled to catch up: the European Union revised its AI Act undefined and the U.S. kicked off AI regulation efforts.