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OpenAI says Sam Altman is stepping down as CEO because ‘the board no longer has confidence’ in his ability to lead

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and OpenAI Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati speak at the Wall Street Journal’s WSJ Tech Live conference in Laguna Beach, California, October 17, 2023.

Patrick T. Fallon | Afp | Getty Images

OpenAI’s board of directors announced Friday that Sam Altman would step down as CEO and be replaced by Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati.

The board said it conducted “a deliberative review process” and “concluded that he had not always been candid in his communications with the board, which hindered his ability to carry out his responsibilities.”

“The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue to lead OpenAI,” the company said.

The board of directors of OpenAI, Inc., which is the 501(c)(3) that governs the top research laboratory, is composed of the company’s chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, and independent directors like Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, the tech entrepreneur. Tasha McCauley and Helen Toner of the Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology.

OpenAI’s board also said that the company’s president, Greg Brockman, will “step down as chairman of the board and remain in his role with the company, reporting to the CEO.”

OpenAI, which has raised billions of dollars from Microsoft, launched into the mainstream late last year after releasing its AI chatbot ChatGPT to the public. The service went viral by allowing users to convert simple text into creative conversation and pushed major tech companies like Alphabet and Meta to step up their investments in generative AI.

OpenAI launched as a nonprofit model in 2015 with the support of Tesla CEO Elon Musk, who reportedly committed $1 billion to the project. Before becoming CEO, Altman was president of startup accelerator Y-Combinator and rose to prominence in Silicon Valley as an early-stage investor. Earlier in his career, he launched the social media company Loopt.

Sam Altman did not immediately respond to a request for additional information.

Lora Kolodny contributed reporting

Watch: ChatGPT creator Sam Altman discusses the Senate AI regulatory hearing.

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