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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

– Sam Altman, OpenAI CEO, discusses his dismissal by the board of directors

OpenAI founder and CEO Sam Altman opened up about his firing and reinstatement during a private gathering at the Bloomberg House in Davos, Switzerland. “It was wild,” he said. “I felt super confused and caught off guard.” But Altman quickly shifted his focus to figuring out his next move.

What’s unconventional about OpenAI is its corporate structure, or lack thereof, which ultimately led to Altman’s surprise ouster. Unlike most tech founders, Altman has no equity in OpenAI, which is a $86 billion generative AI startup valued by private investors. This structure allowed the board to have total control over the organization, leading to Altman’s sudden removal and chaotic events that followed.

The drama eventually led to Altman’s reinstatement as CEO, but not without significant backlash. The majority of the company signed a letter threatening to resign if he wasn’t restored to his position. This move showed the team’s commitment to Altman and the company’s mission, as well as the potential financial risks they were willing to take.

Despite the chaos, Altman remains focused on the future and the company’s mission rather than the drama that unfolded. He expressed a desire to reevaluate OpenAI’s structure, but emphasized that it will never become a traditional for-profit company. Altman highlighted the importance of the team’s commitment to the company’s mission, stating that it’s a difficult aspect to fix.

While the events surrounding Altman’s ouster and return may have been tumultuous, they shed light on the inner workings of one of the biggest names in generative AI tech. Despite the challenges, Altman’s resilience and the unwavering support of the company’s employees and investors have positioned OpenAI to continue pursuing its mission in the field of artificial intelligence.

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