OpenAI’s board suddenly removed CEO Sam Altman Friday. A few days later, the coup appears to be over. What just happened, and what will happen next?
After some haggling, it’s official: Sam Altman is returning to his post as CEO of OpenAI. How did the world’s hottest generative AI company go through three CEOs in under a week? This is what we know so far.
On November 17th, OpenAI’s board abruptly announced that co-founder and CEO Sam Altman was out, effective immediately.
After weekend talks to restore Sam Altman to his post fell apart, former Twitch boss Emmett Shear will now be the new interim CEO of OpenAI. Then hundreds of OpenAI employees — including former interim CEO Mira Murati and board member Ilya Sutskever — signed a letter saying they would leave the company for jobs at Microsoft unless Altman is reinstated.
Now, there’s an agreement in principle for Altman’s return, along with president Greg Brockman. The deal also includes a new set of board members, which sources indicate will include representation from Microsoft.
The shake-up comes just shy of one year after the launch of ChatGPT, which quickly entered mainstream conversation, became one of the fastest-growing apps in history and initiated an industry-wide race to build generative AI tools and hardware to power them. At OpenAI’s first developer conference just a week before his ouster, Altman said the service had over 100 million weekly users and more than 2 million developers were building on the company’s APIs.
All of the news and updates about OpenAI’s executive turnover continue below.