OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, announced on Friday that it had fired CEO Sam Altman due to a loss of confidence in his leadership abilities. Following Altman’s dismissal, co-founder Greg Brockman also revealed his departure from the company. Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, will assume the role of interim CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.
The news has reverberated throughout the technology and business industries, prompting reactions from various leaders in the field. Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt referred to Altman as his “hero” and commended him for transforming the company from nothing to a value of $90 billion.
“Sam Altman is a hero of mine. He built a company from nothing to $90 billion in value and changed our collective world forever. I can’t wait to see what he does next. I, and billions of people, will benefit from his future work—it’s going to be simply incredible. Thank you @sama for all you have done for all of us,” Schmidt tweeted. It’s worth noting that Schmidt served as Google’s CEO from 2001 to 2011.
Many others also expressed praise for Altman’s achievements in the field of AI. Brian Chesky, co-founder and CEO of Airbnb, showed his support for Altman and Brockman, stating, “Sam Altman and Greg Brockman have my full support. I’m saddened by what’s transpired. They, and the rest of the OpenAI team, deserve better.”
Tobi Lutke, CEO of Shopify, described the turn of events as “crazy” and expressed his sadness over Altman’s departure from OpenAI.
Meanwhile, a group of OpenAI staff members has threatened to quit unless the entire board resigns and reinstates Altman as CEO. Sources suggest that OpenAI investors are pressuring the board to reverse the decision to fire Altman.
If Altman were to return, he would likely seek changes in the company’s governance. However, if he decides not to return, there are reports that he is considering launching a new venture, potentially with former OpenAI employees.
Altman gained widespread attention in the tech world with the release of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot capable of generating human-like content, such as poems and artwork, within seconds. Microsoft has made significant investments in OpenAI and integrated the company’s technology into its products, including the search engine Bing. The introduction of ChatGPT sparked an AI race among major tech companies like Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Meta.