OpenAI announced in a Friday (17 November) blog post that Sam Altman, the prominent CEO known for representing the surge in artificial intelligence within the tech industry, has been ousted from his position by the company's board of directors.
The company also stated that Mira Murati, formerly the chief technology officer, has been appointed as the interim CEO.
“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 company said.
“The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI," it added.
This development marks a dramatic downturn for the 38-year-old Altman, who had risen to become a leading figure in the tech world over the past year. His prominence was further heightened last year when OpenAI triggered a widespread excitement in the AI sector with the launch of the online chatbot ChatGPT.
As an experienced entrepreneur in the tech field, Altman co-founded OpenAI in 2015, backed financially by Elon Musk. He guided this modest San Francisco-based firm to an exceptional status — becoming a pioneering technology entity with Microsoft's multi-billion dollar investment, and earning the admiration of major Silicon Valley players such as Google and Meta, the parent company of Facebook.
Altman emerged as a leading voice advocating for the tech industry's pivot to AI, appearing before Congress and captivating global lawmakers and regulators.
Within the industry, there's a widespread belief that AI represents the most significant technological evolution in many years, and Altman has been unparalleled in sparking widespread excitement for this shift.
The specific reasons behind OpenAI's board's decision, apart from those mentioned in their statement, remained unclear.
In a post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Altman wrote, “i loved my time at openai. it was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. most of all i loved working with such talented people. will have more to say about what’s next later.”
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