Artificial intelligence Venture

Sam Altman Out As OpenAI’s CEO

Sam Altman

OpenAI co-founder and AI wunderkind Sam Altman is out as the company’s CEO.

In what can only be described as a Friday afternoon news dump, the generative AI firm named Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, as its interim CEO effective immediately.

In a posting, the company said Altman’s departure comes after “a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”

The company also announced Greg Brockman will be stepping down as chairman of the board, but will remain with the company.

Big dollars and big ideas

OpenAI, the startup behind the artificial intelligence tools ChatGPT and DALL-E, made waves back in January when Microsoft confirmed it has agreed to a “multiyear, multibillion-dollar investment” into the company. It is believed the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant invested as much as $10 billion in the deal.

Then in April, OpenAI held a $300 million tender offer with the likes of Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz at a valuation of around $29 billion.

Finally, just last month, a report in The Information said Thrive Capital will lead a deal to buy the OpenAI shares at a price that will value the artificial intelligence giant at at least $80 billion.

As the company’s profile and valuation have both risen, so has Altman, who now is the face of AI to many.

Earlier this year he appeared before Congress to discuss AI regulation, and just last week served as emcee of OpenAI’s first developer conference in San Francisco.

Altman, who formerly headed startup accelerator Y Combinator, also is an active investor, especially in AI-related startups. He has invested in companies such as  Neuralink and Vital Biosciences.

He also has a significant number of investments through a variety of firms including Altman Capital, Apollo Projects and Hydrazine Capital.

Altman is a co-founder of Tools For Humanity — which backs the somewhat controversial crypto project Worldcoin. The project’s World ID platform is attempting to create unique digital identities — based on blockchain technology — for people by scanning their eyes with a small orb. The idea has led to many questions surrounding AI, data and privacy.

Related reading:

Photo: TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco, via Wikimedia Commons.

Blogroll illustration: Dom Guzman

Search less. Close more.

Grow your revenue with all-in-one prospecting solutions powered by the leader in private-company data.

Stay up to date with recent funding rounds, acquisitions, and more with the Crunchbase Daily.

Copy link