OpenAI just announced that Sam Altman is out as CEO.
The news comes as a surprise — it's highly uncommon for boards to make such sudden announcements about a CEO.
OpenAI seemed to be doing well and just had a splashy event.
I want to level with you: We have no idea why Sam Altman is out as CEO at OpenAI.
The board announced a "leadership transition" late Friday.
And my fellow reporters here at Business Insider were all shocked by the late Friday news dump — and it seems like most people who have been following the company that's behind ChatGPT are also completely surprised.
If you just saw the headline about him being out as CEO with a very vague statement from the board, you probably thought, "Well what's the real reason? Why isn't anyone saying that?"
I want to be transparent with you: We don't know.
It's not like there was some big open secret or lots of rumors that he was about to be out as CEO. There wasn't a big public incident or series of incidents in the news that would be the obvious reason for this.
His latest tweet that came after the announcement doesn't say much, either.
i loved my time at openai. it was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. most of all i loved working with such talented people.
will have more to say about what’s next later.
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 17, 2023
Of course, Business Insider is working on reporting on this to get you more facts as soon as possible.
What we do know is that the board's statement, announcing the "leadership transition," mentions being "not consistently candid in his communications" with the board.
What that might have been regarding, we don't know. (Yet.)
Could be almost anything: personal stuff, business stuff. "Deliberative review process" is a phrase from the board's announcement that might mean a corporate investigation. Something might have happened; they investigated, asked him, and he wasn't forthright — although that's just a possibility, not a certainty.
Just this month, OpenAI had a highly-anticipated event where new updates to ChatGPT were announced along with more features.
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