• Monday, December 04, 2023
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Murati steps in as board sacks OpenAI CEO, Sam Altman

Sam Altman

The board of directors of OpenAI has sacked Sam Altman as the CEO of the artificial general intelligence company and Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, as the interim CEO.

Altman’s departure from OpenAI stems from a thorough review by the board, which determined that his communication with the board lacked consistent transparency, impeding the board’s ability to fulfill its duties effectively.

The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.

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.”

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, Greg Brockman will be stepping down as chairman of the board and will remain in his role at the company, reporting to the CEO.

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Murati, a member of OpenAI’s leadership team for five years, has played a critical role in OpenAI’s evolution into a global AI leader. She brings a unique skill set, and understanding of the company’s values, operations, and business, and already leads the company’s research, product, and safety functions.

Given her long tenure and close engagement with all aspects of the company, including her experience in AI governance and policy, the board believes she is uniquely qualified for the role and anticipates a seamless transition while it conducts a formal search for a permanent CEO.

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OpenAI was founded as a non-profit in 2015 with the core mission of ensuring that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.

In 2019, OpenAI restructured to ensure that the company could raise capital in pursuit of this mission while preserving the nonprofit’s mission, governance, and oversight.

The majority of the board is independent, and the independent directors do not hold equity in OpenAI.