Sam Altman has been fired as CEO of OpenAI, the company announced on Friday.
“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 company said in its blog post. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
Chief technology officer Mira Murati will be the interim CEO, effective immediately. The company will be conducting a search for the permanent CEO successor. When contacted by The Verge, OpenAI’s communications department declined to comment beyond the blog post. Employees at OpenAI found out about the news when it was announced publicly, according to multiple sources.
“I loved my time at OpenAI,” Altman said in a post on X (formerly Twitter). “It was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. Most of all I loved working with such talented people. Will have more to say about what’s next later.”
This is an extremely sudden turn of events. Altman has been the face of OpenAI, which kick-started the current AI arms race with last year’s hugely popular release of ChatGPT. Just last week, Altman led the keynote at the company’s first-ever DevDay conference, where it announced a suite of major new updates to compete with other big tech companies like Microsoft and Google. More recently, Altman spoke at Thursday’s Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference.
Altman has reportedly talked with Jony Ive, Apple’s former chief design officer, about making the “iPhone of artificial intelligence,” though Altman downplayed those rumors at a recent Wall Street Journal conference. He’s also the biggest shareholder in Humane, which just launched orders for its Humane AI Pin.
Altman is a co-founder of OpenAI and initially served as a co-chair of the company alongside Elon Musk. Musk left in 2018 to avoid a conflict of interest with Tesla. He has since founded his own AI company, xAI.
OpenAI also announced that co-founder Greg Brockman will be stepping down as chairman of the board, though he will remain at the company.