Emmett Shear, the interim CEO of OpenAI, may soon find himself unemployed due to the rapid and unexpected changes happening within the company. Following the firing of Sam Altman, Mira Murati was appointed as the new CEO, leading to speculation about Altman’s potential return. However, Altman and Greg Brockman officially joined Microsoft, an investor in OpenAI, while Murati was replaced by Shear.
In the early hours of Monday morning, Shear announced on Twitter that he had been offered the opportunity to become the interim CEO of OpenAI. Shear, who previously co-founded Justin.tv and served as the CEO of Twitch until 2023, now faces the daunting task of leading OpenAI.
The company had been in the process of fundraising and was looking to secure additional investments from the likes of SoftBank and Microsoft. However, the terms of these investments needed to be carefully balanced to avoid triggering antitrust investigations. OpenAI is at the forefront of the AI regulation conversation and has more research and development plans in the pipeline. Additionally, the company aims to secure long-term contracts with customers using its GPT technology.
Shear’s immediate focus is to address the issues currently plaguing OpenAI and prevent further chaos. Within the next 30 days, he plans to hire an independent investigator to examine the events leading up to the recent changes. He also intends to gather feedback from employees, partners, investors, and customers to gain a better understanding of the situation. Moreover, Shear aims to retain customers and partners to ensure a stable revenue stream for the company.
Shear reassured that Altman’s removal was not related to safety concerns or the management of the business. He expressed his commitment to commercializing OpenAI’s models, emphasizing the board’s support for this direction.
Shear accepted the CEO position within hours of being offered it. However, his past controversial positions on social media have come under scrutiny. Despite this, his experience working with corporate entities like Amazon may have played a role in his selection as the successor. Shear acknowledged the strong partnership between OpenAI and Microsoft, indicating that serving customers will be his priority.
As employees consider moving to Microsoft, which holds a significant stake in OpenAI, the company’s stance on remaining independent from its strategic backer remains uncertain.