Sam Altman, the Silicon Valley CEO behind the artificial intelligence-powered chatbots ChatGPT and GPT-4, has been abruptly fired by his company’s board of directors in a major shake-up for the tech industry.
Microsoft-backed Open AI said on Friday that its board of directors decided on the “leadership transition” after losing confidence in Altman’s ability to lead the company.
“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 company said in a statement on its blog.
The board of directors said they were grateful for Altman’s contributions but had decided that “new leadership is necessary as we move forward”.
The company or its board did not elaborate on the reason for Altman’s departure.
Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati was appointed interim CEO until a more permanent replacement is found to lead the $90bn company.
Altman represented the company just this week in a panel discussion at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum in San Francisco.
Altman made a brief statement about his departure on X, formerly Twitter, saying he “loved working with such talented people” and that leading the company had been “transformative to me personally”.