Talks over reinstating co-founder and former CEO Sam Altman at OpenAI have apparently broken down. According to The Information and Bloomberg, the board has now hired Altman’s fellow Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear as OpenAI’s new interim CEO. This appointment was reportedly announced internally by co-founder and board director Ilya Sutskever.
Altman was originally fired from OpenAI over “a breakdown in communication between Sam and the board,” according to an oddly blunt internal staff memo published by Axios earlier. The news was subsequently followed by resignations from several key members, including co-founder Greg Brockman — who was ousted as the chairman of the board — along with a few senior researchers. They may end up joining Altman in one of his rumored new ventures — to develop an AI chip to rival NVIDIA, as well as to build an AI-centric hardware in collaboration with former Apple designer, Jovy Ive.
It won’t be just Altman leaving either. According to a separate report from The Information, “dozens” of OpenAI employees announced internally that they’d be quitting the company as well. Over the weekend, some expressed interest in joining a potential new startup from Altman and could end up with rival companies looking to poach staff, including Google.
The board had since allegedly consider reversing Altman’s firing, though according to an earlier Bloomberg report, the ousted exec wanted the existing board to resign, and that OpenAI to issue a public apology to him. This arrangement obviously didn’t take place in the end. Questions remain as to whether those who walked out with Altman will go back to OpenAI, and how this bizarre series of events will affect the development of GPT-5 plus other related projects.