Sam Altman fired from Open AI
The tech world was shocked today by the news that Sam Altman has been ousted as CEO of OpenAI. Altman co-founded the artificial intelligence startup in 2015 and led it to massive success, including the release of ChatGPT which skyrocketed OpenAI’s valuation to over $80 billion.
The OpenAI board abruptly fired Altman, citing a “lack of candor” in his communications.
OpenAI announced in a blog post that CEO Sam Altman is stepping down from his role, effective immediately. The board decided that Altman had not been fully transparent in his communications with them, which impeded their ability to carry out their responsibilities. As a result, they no longer have confidence in his continued leadership of the company.
Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati will serve as interim CEO while OpenAI conducts a search for a permanent replacement. When contacted by The Verge, OpenAI’s communications department declined to provide any additional comment beyond the contents of the blog post.
Altman has been a prominent figure at OpenAI since its founding, especially in the past year as the company gained widespread attention for its ChatGPT tool. His sudden departure marks an unexpected change in leadership for the prominent AI research company.
This surprising downfall of one of tech’s biggest stars highlights the inherent risks that come with venture capital investment. While VCs aim for huge returns by investing early in promising startups, they also demand substantial control and oversight.
As one of OpenAI’s original VC backers, Microsoft likely pushed for Altman’s removal based on undisclosed issues. The board said Altman hindered their ability to exercise their responsibilities, suggesting he resisted the board’s power over OpenAI’s direction.
VC-backed startups face a huge contradiction — founders want the freedom to pursue their vision, while investors want oversight and control to protect their investment. Founders may have the ideas and talent to create enormously successful companies, but they cede much of their power when taking on outside funding.