Posted November 20, 2023
By Ray Blanco
Rumors, speculation, and conspiracy theories are swirling following the seemingly out-of-nowhere ousting of OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman.
Arguably the person most associated with the AI boom over the last year, the board of OpenAI voting to remove Altman as the company’s chief executive came as a surprise to just about everyone.
Few details have been confirmed regarding the board’s decision, which was announced Friday in a blog post on OpenAI’s website, then confirmed shortly after by Altman himself on Twitter/X.
The reason given for Altman’s termination was a "breakdown in communications between Sam Altman and the board". Mira Murati was named the interim CEO at OpenAI.
Then things got interesting.
The OpenAI team, apparently blindsided and unhappy with the abrupt decision, pressured the board to not only reinstate Altman as CEO, but to also resign themselves.
Reportedly there were negotiations over the weekend for Altman to return, highlighted by an onsite meeting where OpenAI issued its former CEO a guest pass…
Capping off the unbelievably busy weekend, OpenAI named former Twitch CEO Emmett Sheer as Sam Altman’s replacement, and Altman was hired by Microsoft to head up their AI team.
A letter requesting the resignation of OpenAI’s board has currently been signed by 90% of the company’s employees, and Microsoft has offered a position to anyone at OpenAI.
This certainly seems like a lot of trouble to go through over a “breakdown in communications”.
Naturally there have been a lot of rumors swirling, from power grabs to coverups. The specific details behind the board's decisions have not been confirmed, or where the Altman-less company plans to go from here.
A lot has happened over the last 72 hours and we’ll certainly learn a lot more over the next 72.
Now here are the stories I’ve got my eye on this week…
Who is Emmett Shear, OpenAI’s third CEO in three days?
U.K. Becomes First Country to Approve a CRISPR Disease Treatment
Why the Biggest Roadblock for Driverless Cars Is Driver Distrust
Flying Car Takes First Successful Flight
How Open-Source Drug Discovery Could Help Us In The Next Pandemic