OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was fired on Friday, leading to a series of events in the tech industry. Several key players have emerged in response to Altman’s departure. Here is a breakdown of their roles and how they contribute to the ongoing situation at OpenAI.
Sam Altman, the 38-year-old American entrepreneur, co-founded OpenAI in 2015 and became CEO in 2019. However, he was unexpectedly ousted by the board on November 17. Following his removal, major investors such as Microsoft Corp., Thrive Capital, and Tiger Global Management are urging the company to reinstate Altman. OpenAI’s Chief Strategy Officer, Jason Kwon, stated in a memo that the company is “optimistic” about bringing Altman and other key employees back.
Greg Brockman, who co-founded OpenAI eight years ago, resigned as president shortly after Altman’s departure. In a post on the social media site X, Brockman stated, “Based on today’s news, I quit.”
Mira Murati has been appointed as interim CEO after Altman’s exit. In a memo seen by Bloomberg, she expressed her honor and humility in taking up the position. Murati, who previously served as chief technology officer, played a crucial role in the development of OpenAI’s well-known products.
Satya Nadella, the CEO of Microsoft, reached out to Altman after his firing to offer support for his future endeavors. Microsoft is OpenAI’s largest investor, with a stake worth over $10 billion. Nadella took over as CEO of Microsoft in 2014, succeeding Steve Ballmer.
Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist and co-founder, was involved in clashes with Altman regarding the pace of developing generative AI, according to a source. Sutskever informed Altman of his firing during a call on Google Meet.
Indian-American businessman and venture capitalist Vinod Khosla stated that his firm wants Altman back at OpenAI but will support him in whatever he chooses to do next. Khosla is the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures.
Josh Kushner, the founder and managing partner of venture capital firm Thrive Capital, is one of the largest investors in OpenAI. He is also a co-founder of Oscar Health, an American health insurance company.
Adam D’Angelo, an OpenAI board member, is the co-founder and CEO of Quora, an internet platform for questions and answers. He is currently working on a fast AI chat software called Poe.
Tasha McCauley, another OpenAI board member, is a robotics engineer and the CEO of GeoSim Systems, a company focused on advanced 3D-city mapping technology.
Helen Toner, also a board member, holds the position of director of strategy and foundational research grants at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). Prior to joining CSET, Toner conducted research on the Chinese AI ecosystem as a research affiliate of Oxford University’s Center for the Governance of AI.
These individuals, along with other key players in the tech industry, have become central figures in the aftermath of Altman’s departure from OpenAI. The company’s investors and stakeholders are closely watching the unfolding events as they await further developments.