ChatGPT maker OpenAI on Friday fired its CEO Sam Altman and removed its co-founder Greg Brockman from the board over a “quick” call on Google Meet. Taking to his official X (formerly Twitter) account, Mr Brockman on Saturday said that he and Sam were “shocked and saddened” by what the board did and that they were “still trying to figure out” exactly what happened.
“Last night, Sam got a text from Ilya asking to talk at noon Friday. Sam joined a Google Meet and the whole board, except Greg, was there. Ilya told Sam he was being fired and that the news was going out very soon,” Mr Brockman wrote.
Ilya Sutskever is a co-founder and board member at OpenAI.
“At 12:19pm, Greg got a text from Ilya asking for a quick call. At 12:23pm, Ilya sent a Google Meet link. Greg was told that he was being removed from the board (but was vital to the company and would retain his role) and that Sam had been fired. Around the same time, OpenAI published a blog post,” he added.
“As far as we know, the management team was made aware of this shortly after, other than Mira (Murati) who found out the night prior,” Mr Brockman said.
He also said that the “outpouring of support” has been really nice and that they will be fine.
“Greater things coming soon,” he said.
Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today.
Let us first say thank you to all the incredible people who we have worked with at OpenAI, our customers, our investors, and all of those who have been reaching out.
We too are still trying to figure out exactly…
— Greg Brockman (@gdb) November 18, 2023
Sam Altman also posted on X and said that it was “a weird experience” in many ways.
“Today was a weird experience in many ways. but one unexpected one is that it has been sorta like reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive. the outpouring of love is awesome,” he said.
i love you all.
today was a weird experience in many ways. but one unexpected one is that it has been sorta like reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive. the outpouring of love is awesome.
one takeaway: go tell your friends how great you think they are.
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 18, 2023
Earlier on Friday, the board of directors of Microsoft-backed OpenAI announced that Sam Altman will depart as CEO and leave the board of directors.
“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,” an official statement read.
Mr Altman, 38, became a tech world sensation with the release of ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence chatbot with unprecedented capabilities, churning out human-level content like poems or artwork in just seconds.
Meanwhile, OpenAI said that Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, will serve as interim CEO.