OpenAI has let its CEO and board member Sam Altman go. He and chairman Greg Brockman will be joining Microsoft to head up a new AI division there.
Announcing Altman’s departure, a statement from OpenAI notes that 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, it adds.
Emmet Shear has been appointed as the interim CEO of OpenAI. He was previously the CEO of Twitch.
The OpenAI directors’ statement reads: “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.”
Announcing that Altman and Brockman will join the team, Microsoft chairman and CEO Satya Nadella says, the two will lead a new advanced AI research team. “We look forward to moving quickly to provide them with the resources needed for their success.
“We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners. We look forward to getting to know Shear and OAI’s new leadership team and working with them.
Nadella adds: “We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI with full access to everything we need to deliver on our innovation agenda and an exciting product roadmap; and remain committed to our partnership. Together, we will continue to deliver the meaningful benefits of this technology to the world.”