OpenAI’s interim CEO pledges a probe into Altman’s exit. To rebuild confidence in the American start-up following a turbulent weekend, OpenAI’s acting CEO pledged on Monday to appoint an impartial investigator to look into the sudden termination of co-founder Sam Altman and restructure the management group within the next 30 days.
Following his shocking dismissal on Friday, Altman was replaced as the CEO of the business behind ChatGPT by Emmett Shear, the former boss of Twitch. Microsoft (MSFT.O), a supporter of OpenAI, announced earlier on Monday that Altman will join the business as the head of a new advanced artificial intelligence research unit.
“It’s evident that the procedure and correspondence concerning Sam’s termination have been managed extremely poorly, significantly undermining our confidence,” Emmett stated in a social media post on X, characterizing his new role as a “once-in-a-lifetime chance.”
Fearing a significant exodus of talent in his absence, OpenAI investors, including one of the largest, Microsoft, had been debating over the weekend how to mitigate the dramatic events. One possibility was to press the board to reinstate Altman as CEO.
Emmett posted a three-point plan for the first thirty days that included hiring an investigator to look into the events leading up to “this point” and produce a comprehensive report, speaking with partners, customers, employees, and investors, and restructuring the management and leadership team to become “an effective force to drive results for our customers” in light of recent departures.
He indicated he would push for organizational changes based on the outcomes, even going so far as to vehemently advocate for significant changes to the governance structure if needed.
“OpenAI’s success and stability are too vital to let unrest like this undermine them. I’ll try to address the main issues as well, but I think real progress may not be made for more than a month in many situations.”
It’s unclear why Altman left the company. OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap informed staff members on Saturday that there had been a “breakdown of communications” rather than “malfeasance.”
Emmett claimed that before starting work, he reviewed the explanation and that Altman was not fired due to a disagreement regarding the security of potent AI models.
“They were thinking much differently than that. Without board support for commercializing our amazing models, I’m not foolish enough to take on this job,” he declared.