OpenAI Removes Sam Altman as CEO of ChatGPT Creator

The board of directors at OpenAI has ousted Sam Altman, the CEO responsible for the development of AI chatbots ChatGPT and GPT-4, citing concerns about his communication transparency. In a surprising move for the tech industry, the Microsoft-backed startup revealed on Friday that the leadership change was prompted by a loss of confidence in Altman’s ability to lead the company effectively.

Sam Altman, the prominent Silicon Valley CEO behind artificial intelligence-driven chatbots ChatGPT and GPT-4, has been unexpectedly removed from his position by OpenAI’s board of directors, marking a significant shake-up in the technology sector.

OpenAI, supported by Microsoft, announced on Friday that the board decided on a “leadership transition” due to doubts about Altman’s capacity to lead the company. The company stated in a blog post, “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.”

While the company did not disclose specific reasons for Altman’s departure, the board expressed gratitude for his contributions but emphasized the necessity for new leadership as they move forward.

Mira Murati, Chief Technology Officer, has been appointed as interim CEO until a permanent replacement is found for the $90 billion company.

Altman, who represented the company at a panel discussion in San Francisco just this week, made a brief statement on X (formerly Twitter), expressing his appreciation for working with talented individuals and describing his leadership role as transformative personally.

The abrupt departure of Altman elicited various reactions in the tech sector. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt described Altman as a “hero” who had “changed our collective world forever.” Following the news, OpenAI President Greg Brockman, who co-founded the startup with Altman and Elon Musk, announced his resignation on X, stating, “Based on today’s news, I quit.”

Altman gained widespread recognition after the release of ChatGPT last year, which both fascinated and alarmed the public with its ability to provide human-like, albeit not always accurate, answers to user queries. In September, Altman was featured in a New York Magazine profile, drawing comparisons to tech entrepreneur J. Robert Oppenheimer, known as the father of the atomic bomb. Time Magazine also recognized Altman on its list of the 100 most influential people in AI in 2023.