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OpenAI dismisses CEO Sam Altman


OpenAI’s board of directors fired Sam Altman, then CEO of OpenAI, on Nov. 17. After talks between Altman and OpenAI on Nov. 18-19, the board of directors opposed reinstating Altman as CEO, instead appointing co-founder Emmett Shear to replace Mira Murati as interim CEO.

The cause of the dismissal is unclear. OpenAI’s post regarding Altman’s departure simply states how the board of directors concluded that Altman was “not consistently candid in his communications with the board” as the main reason behind the decision, and that Murati would be appointed as the interim CEO.

Shortly following the announcement, co-founder Greg Brockman announced his resignation from OpenAI, expressing his shock towards the decision on X. But Brockman was not alone; nearly 95% of the company’s employees signed an open letter expressing their discontent towards the decision to fire Altman, threatening to join Microsoft’s new subsidiary under Altman’s leadership.

The open letter interestingly includes a signature from Ilya Sutskever, a member of the board directors and one who supported Altman’s ousting, stating, “I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions” on X.

“It is a literal Netflix reality show,” Eddie Chu (12), tech enthusiast, said. “From employees threatening to leave OpenAI to Sutskever suddenly switching sides, it is remarkable how fast changes are being made mere days after Altman’s dismissal. But the winner is always the mega corporation [Microsoft]. They were not harmed in any way, and their stocks are at their peak right now, so who really benefits from Altman being fired?”

Microsoft, OpenAI’s largest shareholder, stated that they will remain committed to their partnership with OpenAI, but offered Altman and co-founder Greg Brockman positions at Microsoft to lead a new, advanced AI research team.

Some speculate that Altman was ousted due to a disagreement with how AI should be developed. The board members have been known to support the stance that the development of AI should not be hastened as they fear the risks to humanity will spiral out of control. Though Altman agrees, he has also actively seeked funding from various investors to push the development of ChatGPT, which could have caused a clash in philosophy between him and the board of directors.

“If the speculations are true, then I do not agree with the board of directors of OpenAI,” Yuha Jeon (11), member of Coding Club, said. “While we must be cognizant of the implications of generative AI, we should not actively block development of software that has positively impacted our lives. As it stands, the board of directors seems to have a different motive in firing Altman.”

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Andrew Shin, Reporter
Andrew is a senior reporter for Tiger Times Online. He enjoys cycling, watching anime, and listening to some ? jazz ? in his off-time. Feel free to approach him with anime recommendations!

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