On Friday, OpenAI’s co-founder and president, Greg Brockman, announced his resignation from the company, mere hours after the unexpected dismissal of its chief executive, Sam Altman, who had recently led the startup’s inaugural developer conference. Despite earlier assurances that Brockman would remain with the company, his sudden departure contributes to the day’s uncertainties at OpenAI.
Brockman conveyed in a series of tweets that Ilya Sutskever, the chief scientist at OpenAI, informed Altman about a Friday noon call on Thursday evening. During the call, Sutskever and other board members informed Altman of his termination. According to Brockman, the management team, with the exception of Mira Murati, OpenAI’s CTO, was made aware shortly afterward. Murati has been appointed as the interim CEO.
While OpenAI initially stated that Brockman would step down as the chairman of the board but continue with the firm, Brockman clarified on Friday that the board wanted him to stay, but he chose to resign due to his disagreement with the board’s direction.
OpenAI and Microsoft, which owns roughly half of the company but is not on the board, have not disclosed the reasons behind Altman’s dismissal, adding to the speculation surrounding the situation. Altman’s departure, along with Brockman’s, has reverberated through Silicon Valley, where Altman served as the public face of the startup, influencing the rapidly evolving field of artificial intelligence.
Brockman expressed his pride in the accomplishments achieved by the OpenAI team and its mission to create safe artificial general intelligence (AGI) benefiting humanity in a message to the OpenAI team. Despite this, he announced his resignation based on the day’s developments.
Earlier on Friday, OpenAI announced Altman’s departure, citing a loss of confidence from the board. The board’s “deliberative review process” found Altman “not consistently candid in his communications,” hindering the board’s ability to fulfill its responsibilities.
This development follows OpenAI’s recent developer conference, where Altman revealed that ChatGPT had reached 100 million users. Microsoft’s CEO, Satya Nadella, a chief guest at the conference, expressed support, emphasizing their long-term agreement and commitment to working with OpenAI. Nadella stated that they would continue delivering the meaningful benefits of the technology to the world through their ongoing partnership with Mira and the OpenAI team.