In a statement released Friday afternoon OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, announced the removal of Sam Altman as 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 board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
According to the statement, CTO Mira Murati will become interim CEO in his place.
Sam Altman left his role as president of Y Combinator in 2019, in 2020 he joined OpenAI as CEO. OpenAI launched initially in 2015 and raised $1 billion from multiple sources that included Altman, Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Microsoft and Amazon.
Over the course of the last year ChatGPT has seen widespread adoption across the world and despite other new large-language models being released daily by competitors, OpenAI’s has managed to cement itself as a pillar of the industry.
Hand in hand with the rise in popularity of ChatGPT has been the rise of Sam Altman, he’s been the face of OpenAI and Chat ever since. Since Elon Musk released his new AI “Grok” people on social media have been shipping the battle between the two competing LLMs as a battle between Altman and Musk, an attempt to personify their respective AI company’s perspective on the emergent technology and its future role in society.
Public reaction seems to be one of pure shock; many expected Altman to lead OpenAI for years to come. Like many others across social media, we await the details of his removal that will likely follow in the coming days.