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Chief technology officer Mira Murati appointed interim CEO to lead OpenAI; Sam Altman departs the company.
Search process underway to identify permanent successor.
The board of directors of OpenAI, Inc., the 501(c)(3) that acts as the overall governing body for all OpenAI activities, today announced that Sam Altman will depart as CEO and leave the board of directors. Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, will serve as interim CEO, effective immediately.
A member of OpenAI’s leadership team for five years, Mira has played a critical role in OpenAI’s evolution into a global AI leader. She brings a unique skill set, 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.
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 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.
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. While the company has experienced dramatic growth, it remains the fundamental governance responsibility of the board to advance OpenAI’s mission and preserve the principles of its Charter.
Summary created by AI.
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OpenAI announced a significant leadership transition - Sam Altman, the company’s CEO, is set to leave the firm, and the board of directors has appointed Mira Murati, OpenAI’s Chief Technology Officer, as the interim CEO. This change in management resulted from a review process by the board that concluded Altman was not consistently candid in his communications, thereby affecting the board’s functionality.ref
This abrupt departure has sparked various reactions within the forum, ranging from surprise to concerns over the organization’s future. Some forum members have speculated about undisclosed board dynamics and motivations, while others have expressed apprehension about the potential impact on their businesses and the AI industry in general.refrefref Some have speculated that this shakeup could signal OpenAI’s strategy to go public, but there has been no official confirmation to support this.ref
Forum participants called for greater clarity on the reasons behind Altman’s departure, urging the board to provide a transparent explanation to all its stakeholders, especially the supporters and paid users.refref Altman’s departure also saw several forum members express support for his vision and leadership style, worrying that his exit could lead to a divergence from OpenAI’s mission to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.refref
In an additional twist, Greg Brockman, the company’s Chairman, has decided to step down from his role but will be remaining in the company, now reporting to the CEO.ref It was suggested that depending on the severity of the issues Altman was allegedly deceptive about, the board may have been legally obligated to act swiftly.ref
Despite the leadership shakeup, OpenAI has reiterated its commitment to its mission and has stated its confidence in Murati’s ability to effectively lead the organization in the interim while a permanent CEO is sourced. The forum will continue to keep a vigilant eye on the developments and their potential impact on OpenAI and AI at large.ref
Summarized with AI on Nov 18 2023
AI used: gpt-4-32k