The board of directors of OpenAI, the company that created the artificial intelligence app ChatGPT, said on Friday that it removed its co-founder and CEO, Sam Altman, after a review found that he was “not consistently candid in his communications” with the company. board.
“The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI,” the company said in a statement.
Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, will take over as interim CEO effective immediately, the company said, while a permanent replacement is sought.
Altman, 38, has been seen as a Silicon Valley wunderkind since he was in his early 20s. He helped start OpenAI as a nonprofit research lab in 2015.
A spokesperson for Open AI did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the reason for Altman’s alleged lack of candor. The statement said his behavior hindered the board’s ability to exercise its responsibilities.
Altman posted on social network X, formerly Twitter, on Friday: “I loved my time at OpenAI. It was transformative for me personally and, hopefully, a little bit for the world. Most of all, I loved working with such talented people. I will have more to say later about what comes next.”
Last year, Altman gained global attention as the face of OpenAI and the rise of artificial intelligence with the launch of ChatGPT. On a world tour in 2023 he was mobbed by a crowd of fans at an event in London.
On Thursday he participated in a meeting of company CEOs at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum in San Francisco, where OpenAI is based.
He predicted that artificial intelligence will prove to be “the greatest advance of any of the great technological revolutions we have had so far.” But he also recognized the need for security barriers to protect humanity from the existential threat posed by the quantum leaps that computers are making.
OpenAI began as a nonprofit research lab when it launched in December 2015 with financial backing from Tesla CEO Elon Musk and others. Its stated goals were to “advance digital intelligence in a way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by the need to generate financial returns.”
Haleluya Hadero in New York, Kelvin Chan in London, and Michael Liedtke and David Hamilton in San Francisco contributed to this report.