Sam Altman has been removed as CEO of artificial intelligence research company OpenAI after the board determined he was not sufficiently transparent in his leadership communications.
In a statement, OpenAI’s board announced that Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process which concluded he was “not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.”
Citing a lack of confidence in Altman’s ability to continue leading the company going forward, the board decided to part ways with the high-profile CEO effective immediately.
Altman himself acknowledged the situation in a tweet, stating “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.”
As one of OpenAI’s co-founders and its CEO since the company’s inception in 2015, Altman has been a highly influential figure in shaping the research outfit’s pioneering work in artificial intelligence safety and ethics.
But the board’s statement indicates they felt Altman had not been fully open about certain aspects of his leadership, management, and decision-making as CEO. This lack of transparency ultimately undermined the confidence needed to continue with Altman at the helm.
OpenAI made headlines in recent years for its groundbreaking AI research and applications like the GPT-3 language model used to power chatbots. However, it has also faced criticism over the potential risks of releasing powerful generative AI models without sufficient guardrails.
The company’s board includes prominent tech leaders like LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Khosla Ventures founder Vinod Khosla, and former Y Combinator president Sam Altman.
Moving forward without its founding CEO, OpenAI will need to ensure it has leadership in place that maintains open communication and upholds ethical AI principles. Appointing a new CEO will be critical to steering the influential company into its next chapter.