Sam Altman, the chief executive and co-founder of OpenAI, maker of ChatGPT, has been fired over Google Meet, despite the company receiving a $10 billion investment of Microsoft money.
Altman, who is gay, was ousted from the company in a Google meeting after its board accused him of “being not consistently candid in his communications”.
The 38-year-old was told he would be sacked 30 minutes before the company put out a statement to the public.
In January, Microsoft announced its investment into OpenAI, but did not comment on the final figure, which is thought to be around $10 billion, according to Forbes.
On Friday (17 November), OpenAI issued a statement pinning the firing of Altman down to the board losing confidence “in his ability to continue leading OpenAI”.
“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. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
In a post on X, Altman confirmed his departure from the company: “I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit.”
“Will have more to say about what’s next later.”
Greg Brockman, another co-founder of OpenAI, said he would resign from the company following Altman’s firing.
On X, Brockman shared that he and Altman are still “trying to figure our exactly what happened”.
On Saturday (18 November), Altman posted that his firing was “a weird experience in many ways”, but he shared that “the outpouring of love is awesome”.
Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, will become interim CEO, while Altman and Brockman’s departure leaves Ilya Sutskever, the group’s chief scientist, as the sole OpenAI founder remaining on its board.
OpenAI’s board of directors said it was grateful for Altman’s contributions in growing the company but added “we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward”.