OpenAI has announced that Sam Altman will depart the company, leaving his positions as both CEO and a member of 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,” OpenAI said in a Friday (Nov. 17) blog post. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati, will serve as interim CEO, effective immediately, according to the post. A search process is underway to identify a permanent successor.
In addition, as part of this transition, Greg Brockman will step down as chairman of the board while remaining in his role at the company, reporting to the CEO, the post said.
Murati has been a member of OpenAI’s leadership team for five years and has played a critical role in the company’s development, per the post.
“[Murati] brings a unique skill set, understanding of the company’s values, operations and business, and already leads the company’s research, product and safety functions,” OpenAI said in the post. “Given her long tenure and close engagement with all aspects of the company, including her experience in AI governance and policy, the board believes she is uniquely qualified for the role and anticipates a seamless transition while it conducts a formal search for a permanent CEO.”
In a statement included in the blog post, the board of directors said: “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.”
This announcement comes three days after OpenAI put a hold on new signups for its ChatGPT Plus program, due to widespread demand putting a strain on the platform. The move came after a spike in consumer demand following an announcement of new features at the company’s developer conference.