In an internal memo sent to company staff on Sunday night, OpenAI’s board of directors reaffirmed their decision to remove former CEO Sam Altmana, as reported by the NYtimes. The board announced that Emmett Shear, a former executive at Twitch, will serve as the new interim CEO, emphasizing his skills and expertise that they believe will drive OpenAI forward.
The board, consisting of Adam D’Angelo, Helen Toner, Ilya Sutskever, and Tasha McCauley, supported their decision to dismiss Altman, citing his behavior and lack of transparency in his interactions with management. They stated that Altman’s actions undermined management’s ability to effectively oversee the company, leading to their loss of confidence in him.
The firing of Altman shocked the tech industry and OpenAI’s investors, including Microsoft, Sequoia Capital, and Thrive Capital. Microsoft, a major investor with over $13 billion in OpenAI, only learned of Altman’s departure a minute before it was publicly announced. The board did not disclose specific incidents that led to Altman’s dismissal but justified it as necessary to preserve their ability to carry out their responsibilities and advance the organization’s mission.
The memo emphasized the importance of honesty and transparency between an executive director and the board of directors. It did not mention the content related to Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connectiut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa.