OpenAI announced Friday that Sam Altman departed the company on Friday. Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati has been appointed interim CEO to lead OpenAI. The news comes just weeks after OpenAI’s DevDay, where Sam Altman announced some of the company’s biggest advancements yet.
“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,” said the company in a statement Friday. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
The board says it believes new leadership is necessary as it moves forward, though the board is grateful for Sam’s many contributions. The comments from the board suggest Altman may have lied to the board about some aspects of OpenAI’s business. The board did not specify any further.
“I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. Most of all I loved working with such talented people,” said Sam Altman in a statement on X responding to the board’s decision. Altman noted he will have more details about his next steps soon.
Greg Brockman, the president, co-founder, and chairman of OpenAI, initially intended to stay with the company, according to the announcement. Brockman took to X Friday evening saying he officially quit OpenAI.
“I’m super proud of what we’ve all built together since starting in my apartment 8 years ago, Brockman tweeted. “We’ve been through tough & great times together, accomplishing so much despite all the reasons it should have been impossible. But based on today’s news, I quit.”
Sam Altman co-founded OpenAI in 2015, alongside Tesla CEO Elon Musk and others, with an ultimate goal to “advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return.” Under Altman’s leadership, OpenAI showed the world what generative AI can do with ChatGPT. The company sped past larger competitors, partnering with Microsoft to completely dominate the space.
“We have a long-term partnership with OpenAI and Microsoft remains committed to Mira and their team as we bring this next era of AI to our customers,” a Microsoft spokesperson told Gizmodo.
OpenAI’s operations have been far from smooth sailing since the grand announcements made at DevDay, which included the GPT Store and GPT-4 Turbo. The company paused its premium signups this week, citing too much traffic from DevDay. OpenAI was also the subject of DDoS attacks, which crippled the platform, and Microsoft briefly told its employees not to use ChatGPT. It’s unclear at this time whether the events in the last two weeks are related to the firing of Sam Altman.