The Chief Executive and Co-founder of OpenAI, Sam Altman, has departed the company.
In a statement on Friday, the company said that its board of directors decided on the leadership transition after “losing confidence” in Mr Altman’s ability to lead the company.
“The board of directors of OpenAI, Inc., the 501(c)(3) that acts as the overall governing body for all OpenAI activities, today announced that Sam Altman will depart as CEO and leave the board of directors. Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, will serve as interim CEO, effective immediately,” the company said in a statement.
“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 board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI,” it said.
“A member of OpenAI’s leadership team for five years, Mira has played a critical role in OpenAI’s evolution into a global AI leader.
The company said the new head brings a unique skill set, and understanding of the company’s values, operations, and business, and already leads the company’s research, product, and safety functions,” it said.
The statement explained that given her long tenure and close engagement with all aspects of the company, including her experience in AI governance and policy, the board believes Ms Murati is uniquely qualified for the role and anticipates a seamless transition while it conducts a formal search for a permanent CEO.
In a statement, 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.
“As the leader of the company’s research, product, and safety functions, Mira is exceptionally qualified to step into the role of interim CEO. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead OpenAI during this transition period.”
As a part of this transition, according to the company, Greg Brockman will be stepping down as chairman of the board and will remain in his role at the company, reporting to the CEO.
Mr Altman, in a post on his X handle shortly after the announcement, said: “I loved my time at openai. 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.”
OpenAI was founded as a non-profit in 2015 with the core mission of ensuring that artificial general intelligence benefits all of humanity.
In 2019, OpenAI restructured to ensure that the company could raise capital in pursuit of this mission while preserving the nonprofit’s mission, governance, and oversight.
OpenAI’s board of directors consists of OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, independent directors Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology’s Helen Toner.
The company noted that the majority of the board is independent, and the independent directors do not hold equity in OpenAI.
“While the company has experienced dramatic growth, it remains the fundamental governance responsibility of the board to advance OpenAI’s mission and preserve the principles of its Charter,” it said.
Culled from Premium Times Nigeria