Sam Altman Return Talks Falls Apart, New OpenAI Interim CEO Takes Over

Sam Altman
Sam Altman, Ousted OpenAI CEO. Image Credits: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Former OpenAI Chief Executive Officer, Sam Altman is not returning as CEO despite the weekend-long negotiations with the Board following his sudden firing on Friday. Instead, Emmett Shear, the co-founder of Twitch will take over as interim CEO. This comes just a few hours after plans by Mira Murati, (the former interim CEO of OpenAI) to re-hire him and fellow co-founder Greg Brockman.

Mira Murati was serving as the Chief Technology Officer before the ouster. It comes as no surprise that she also has been replaced as interim CEO, given her public support for Altman being misaligned with the Board’s view. That makes it three CEOs in just three days, but no one is done counting yet.

The Board fired Altman on Friday after losing confidence in his ability to lead since he had not been “consistently candid in his communications.” In addition, co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Greg Brockman would also lose his seat on the board. Greg Brockman and key employees would subsequently quit following this development This would see Altman send undefined threats to the board following his ouster. This coupled with pressure from investors and threats of mass resignations from staff resulted in the board having talks about Sam Altman’s return. Chief Strategy Officer, Jason Kwon would later inform staffers in a memo that the board was “optimistic” it could bring back Sam, Greg and other key employees.

Additional details that led to the board’s decision are not officially out. However, there are reports that disagreeing views on how the AI company should roll out its products was the major contributing factor. The major disagreement was the speed at which they were releasing generative AI products in relation to safety measures in place when releasing more advanced products.

Sam Altman’s possible new venture

There are reports that weeks before his ouster from OpenAI, Sam Altman was in talks with investors seeking backing on a new venture. According to Bloomberg, Altman was working to raise billions in funding for a new AI-focused chip venture. We had earlier reported that he was possibly working with Apple’s former chief designer, Jony Ives, on a new AI hardware device.

However, we have no concrete information on what the high-profile AI boss sets out to do next. Regarding Sam Altman’s current role at OpenAI, as per Kara Swisher’s words, “In sum: no Sam.”

This is a developing story.

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