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Two days after revealing the plans of GPT 5, OpenAI has revealed that the company has fired Sam Altman from his position as CEO and board member. The decision, announced in an official blog post, emerged after a board review citing Altman’s inconsistent communication, which hindered the board’s ability to fulfill its responsibilities.
Mira Murati, previously the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), assumes the interim CEO position, emphasising continuity amidst this leadership transition.
In a statement, the board of directors said: “OpenAI was deliberately structured to advance our mission: to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all humanity. The board remains fully committed to serving this mission. We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward. As the leader of the company’s research, product, and safety functions, Mira is exceptionally qualified to step into the role of interim CEO. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead OpenAI during this transition period.”
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OpenAI’s board of directors consists of OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, independent directors Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology’s Helen Toner.
As a part of this transition, the departure of Altman, a key figure in OpenAI’s founding, coincides with Greg Brockman stepping down as board chairman while retaining his role as the company’s president.
The board emphasised the necessity for new leadership aligned with OpenAI’s mission of ensuring artificial general intelligence benefits humanity. Despite Altman’s significant contributions, the board expressed a loss of confidence in his ability to steer the organisation.
This unexpected change arrived shortly after OpenAI’s recent DevDay conference, where Altman actively participated. His departure triggers curiosity about its connection to the company’s intricate governance structure, notably the relationship between its nonprofit and for-profit arms.
OpenAI’s nonprofit arm wields substantial control over its for-profit subsidiary, OpenAI Global, LLC, which focuses on commercialising AI while aligning with the nonprofit’s mission of achieving artificial general intelligence. The board’s authority includes determining AGI achievements and regulating associated commercial terms, including partnerships with major investors like Microsoft.
This shift in leadership has left questions lingering about the specific circumstances surrounding Altman’s removal, reflecting a pivotal moment in OpenAI’s trajectory as it navigates a critical phase in the AI landscape.
However, alongside Altman, Alex Cohen was also fired from the team. In Cohen’s words, he was the person “in charge of putting together the presentations for our board meetings”. Within 20 minutes of posting the life update on X, Cohen joined Roofer.com as lead AI researcher. Roofer.com is a San Francisco based company that provides modern roofing experience for homeowners and enterprise property owners nationwide leveraging the efficiency of drones and the power of AI.