OpenAI Inc. announced today that Sam Altman is stepping down as CEO in a major leadership shake-up. The company’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Mira Murati will take on the role of Interim CEO, effective immediately, according to a statement from the company’s Board of Directors.
OpenAI is one of the world’s leading Artificial Intelligence (AI) companies. Founded in 2015 as a not-for-profit organization, OpenAI’s mission is to make the world a better place through the advancement of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI). This change marks a significant turning point for OpenAI. In 2019 OpenAI went through a major structural transformation in order to increase its capital while maintaining its mission and core values.
The Board of Directors of OpenAI has appointed Mira Murati as Interim CEO. Mira has been a key contributor to the company’s growth and global recognition over the last five years. She has extensive background in AI governance and policy, as well as company’s Research, Product and Safety operations. The Board has expressed its full faith in Mira’s ability to successfully lead OpenAI through this transitional period and is currently in the process of searching for a successor.
The termination of Sam Altman is the result of an in-depth review process by the Board. It raised concerns regarding his transparency in communication, which ultimately impacted the Board’s trust in his management. The Board highlighted the significance of the OpenAI mission and the necessity for leadership that is in line with its core values.
The board noted in a formal statement that Sam Altman “played a critical role in the inception and growth of OpenAI,” but stressed the need for new leadership to take the company “to the next level.” The board also reaffirmed its “commitment to the goal of delivering AGI that benefits all humanity.”
In addition to this change in leadership, Greg Brockman is resigning as Chairman of the Board. He will remain associated with OpenAI in a corporate capacity, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
OpenAI has a Board of Directors composed of its Chief Scientist, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and independent directors. The majority of the Board is independent and does not own equity in OpenAI. This is consistent with OpenAI’s non-profit status and its charter. The Board is composed of:
Adam D’Angelo – CEO at Quora
Tasha McCauley – Tech entrepreneur
Helen Toner – Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology
As the AI landscape continues to evolve, this leadership change is essential for OpenAI. It is to maintain a balance between growth and continuing to adhere to its core values of misson and governance.