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OpenAI Board Removes CEO Sam Altman: Explore The Timeline Of Events

Explore the timeline of Sam Altman's exit as OpenAI CEO with a possible move to Microsoft with Greg Brockman and other colleagues.

Mira Murati, the Chief Technology Officer, steps in as the interim CEO of OpenAI following Sam Altman's departure.

On Friday, OpenAI’s board announced Sam Altman’s departure as CEO and appointed CTO Mira Murati as interim leader.

“The board of directors of OpenAI, Inc, the 501(c)(3) that acts as the overall governing body for all OpenAI activities, today announced that Sam Altman will depart as CEO and leave the board of directors. Mira Murati, the company’s chief technology officer, will serve as interim CEO, effective immediately.”

OpenAI and Microsoft have made headlines in the tech industry in the last two weeks.

  • On November 6, at DevDay, Altman introduced custom GPTs and a monetized GPT store. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella joined him to announce a deeper partnership.
  • On November 15, Microsoft announced the integration of GPTs and plugins into its services.
  • On November 19, the OpenAI board removed Altman as CEO.
  • On November 20, Nadella announced Altman, Brockman, and other OpenAI colleagues would join Microsoft.

In addition, most OpenAI employees have signed a letter asking the board to resign.

Catch up on the events from when the shakeup started or live blogging coverage to find out what happens next.

Nadella: Maintaining Partnerships With OpenAI And Altman, Excited About Future AI Innovations

On Bloomberg Live, Nadella reassured that Microsoft is still partnered with OpenAI and with Sam Altman, irrespective of what company Altman is with.

Nadella remains confident in Altman’s leadership capability and welcomes him to Microsoft to lead the new AI research team.

To continue its partnership with OpenAI, Microsoft would want governance changes at OpenAI to ensure there are no more “surprises.”

Nadella welcomes dialog about AI safety and celebrates both the innovations democratizing AI access to people globally and enhancing the guardrails against the risks.

Bloomberg To Interview Satya Nadella Soon - Discussion On X

Will We Hear From The Other Board Members

Salesforce Makes OpenAI Researchers An Offer

Former GitHub CEO Reportedly Declined Interim OpenAI CEO

Elon Musk: "OpenAI is de facto part of Microsoft."

Altman And Nadella: Microsoft/OpenAI Partnership Will Continue To Provide For Customers

Nadella reposted Altman’s post shortly after.

OpenAI Team Supports Sam And Greg

How OpenAI Employees Are Doing Throughout This

"One Team, One Mission"

It may not be over just yet, as there is still a chance Altman may return to OpenAI if the board resigns, according to sources for The Verge.

Altman Praises OpenAI Leadership

MSFT At All Time High

msft microsoft stock at all time highScreenshot from Google, November 2023

Majority Of OpenAI Employees Want Board To Resign

Custom GPTs An Issue?

Participants in an X space discussing the OpenAI saga brought up an interesting theory.

Quora’s Poe – founded by OpenAI board member Adam D’Angelo – introduced the ability to create custom bots with OpenAI models, including ChatGPT, a few months ago.

The timeline of events for the last two weeks:

  • November 6, at DevDay, Altman introduced custom GPTs and an upcoming monetized GPT store.
  • November 15, Microsoft announced the integration of GPTs and plugins.
  • November 19, the OpenAI board removed Altman as CEO.
  • November 20, Nadella announced Altman, Brockman, and other OpenAI colleagues to join Microsoft.


poe create a bot gptsScreenshot from Poe, November 2023

OpenAI Employees "Are United" Against The Board

OpenAI Offering Reassurance To Developers And Customers

xAI May Be Interested In Frustrated OpenAI Staff

Sutskever Regrets Actions

"OpenAI Is Nothing Without Its People"

New Interim CEO Of OpenAI Posts

Emmett Shear, new interim CEO of OpenAI, previously the CEO of Twitch, accepts the position to drive significant changes and address current challenges, emphasizing the company’s importance and his commitment to its success and stability.

“Before I took the job, I checked on the reasoning behind the change. The board did *not* remove Sam over any specific disagreement on safety, their reasoning was completely different from that. I’m not crazy enough to take this job without board support for commercializing our awesome models.”

Altman, Brockman, And Collegaues To Join Microsoft

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced that Sam Altman and Greg Brockman (former President & Co-Founder at OpenAI) will be joining the company. Of note: Nadella identified Altman’s new role as CEO of an AI research “group” within Microsoft.

Altman Arrives At OpenAI Offices As A Guest

Rumors continue to surface that talks to reinstate Altman as OpenAI CEO are partially due to investor pressure, especially from Microsoft.

However, after having already named OpenAI CTO Mira Murati as interim CEO, the board then announced a new interim CEO: Emmett Shear, a co-founder of Twitch. Worth mentioning is that Shear’s Twitch co-founder, Kyle Vogt, resigned as CEO of Cruise the same day.

As We Wait For More OpenAI News...

Curiously, at least one person in last night’s emoji stream had removed mentions of OpenAI in the bio.

But later posted this.

Interim CEO Of OpenAI Posts On X

Altman, Brockman, And OpenAI Team Post Heart Emojis

Over 100 OpenAI employees have reposted Altman’s message with various heart emojis.

A Decision May Be Made Soon

Will More OpenAI Staff Resign?

According to sources for The Verge, the board missed a deadline of 5pm PST to resign, allowing Altman and Brockman to return. Reportedly, more OpenAI staffers were set to resign.

Near the deadline, some OpenAI staff posted similar messages:

Nadella Reportedly Supports Altman's Return

From Bloomberg sources: “In one scenario under consideration, members of the current OpenAI board would step down.”

Will OpenAI Reinstate Sam Altman As CEO?

Silicon Valley Looks Forward To What Altman And Brockman Do Next

Khan Academy is featured as one of OpenAI’s customer success stories for GPT-4.


Microsoft Has Options, Certain Rights To Current OpenAI Models

OpenAI's 86B Share Sale In Jeopardy

OpenAI Features New Job Listing

“The Senior Manager, Strategic Sourcing is a key player in OpenAI’s Finance division, responsible for elevating our non-technology procurement function.”

Screenshot from OpenAI, November 2023

Speculation Surrounding AGI Grows

Advice On Choosing Board Members From Altman's Personal Blog

“It’s a good idea to keep enough control so that investors can’t fire you (there are a lot of different ways to do this), but beyond that, it’s important to bring in other people and trust them to help you build the company.”

Not A "Hostile Takeover"

Sources close to the NY Times shared that Sutskever countered views of it being a “hostile takeover” and emphasized its necessity for the the goal advancing AI for humanity’s benefit.

OpenAI Board Members

More information about OpenAI board members involved in yesterday’s shocking decision:

Why Sam Altman Was Replaced As CEO

Bloomberg reports that Altman was dismissed from his position as CEO due to a series of disagreements with board members over fundamental aspects of AI development and commercialization.

Key points of conflict included the pace of generative AI development, strategies for commercializing products, and measures to mitigate potential public harm.

Altman’s clashes, particularly with board member and OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever, culminated in the board losing confidence in his leadership.

Additionally, Altman’s independent entrepreneurial ventures, such as seeking investments for an AI chip startup and concerns about diverging governance models, further strained his relationship with the board.

Micosoft’s CEO was not only “blindsided” by the news, but also furious according to Bloomberg’s sources close to the situation.



OpenAI's Structure And AGI

A look at OpenAI’s structure reveals:

  • OpenAI’s for-profit subsidiary is fully governed by the OpenAI Nonprofit through its ownership and control of OpenAI GP LLC.
  • The board, part of a Nonprofit, must prioritize safe, beneficial AGI development, with humanity as its main beneficiary, not OpenAI investors.
  • The board is predominantly independent, with no direct equity held by members, including CEO Sam Altman, whose stake is through Y Combinator.
  • Profits for investors and employees, including Microsoft, are capped, with excess value benefiting humanity through the Nonprofit.
  • The board decides if it has attained AGI – an autonomous system that surpasses human capabilities in work most valuable to society. AGI technology is not included in commercial deals with Microsoft.

openai structure agiScreenshot from OpenAI, November 2023

OpenAI Researchers Working On GPT-4 And AGI Reportedly Resign

According to sources for The Information, three additional people at OpenAI have resigned in the wake of Altman and Brockman’s exit:

  • Jakub Pachocki, Director of Research at OpenAI, “gpt-4 lead.”
  • Aleksander Madry, Head of Preparedness, “Working on making AI more reliable and safe, as well as having a positive impact on society.”
  • Szymon Sidor, Research Scientist at OpenAI, “Building AGI one line of code at the time.”

Altman Posts To X

Official Statement From Brockman And Altman

The sequence of events began with Sam receiving a text from Ilya, leading to a Google Meet where he was informed of his termination, with the board present except for Greg.

Shortly after, Greg was similarly contacted by Ilya and removed from the board, though his role in the company was affirmed.

The management team, except for Mira who was informed earlier, learned of these developments soon after.

Rumored Statement Coming

What Happens Next

More Mention Of Safe AGI For Humanity

Confidence In Murati's Leadership

Rumor Of "Misalignment" And More Shakeups To Come

OpenAI Employees Receive Support


Greg Brockman Quits, Continues To Believe In Safe AGI For Humanity

Also included in original announcement from OpenAI: “As a part of this transition, Greg Brockman will be stepping down as chairman of the board and will remain in his role at the company, reporting to the CEO.”

The (former) President & Co-Founder of OpenAI responded:

Microsoft Reportedly "Blindsided" By News

Microsoft reportedly found out about Altman’s removal a minute before the news was published according to Axios.

Former Google CEO Calls Altman A Hero


Microsoft CEO Posts Update

“We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI with full access to everything we need to deliver on our innovation agenda and an exciting product roadmap; and remain committed to our partnership, and to Mira and the team. Together, we will continue to deliver the meaningful benefits of this technology to the world.”


Airbnb CEO Express Support For Altman


Sam Altman Responds To News


Impact On Microsoft Stock



Microsoft’s CEO recently appeared on stage with Altman to announce an extended partnership.

Sam Altman of OpenAI and Satya Nadella of Microsoft

The timing appears to be shortly after the OpenAI announcement.

"...he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board..."

The decision for Altman’s departure follows the board’s deliberation over his communication approach, which they found lacked the necessary candor for effective governance.

In the official statement, the board expressed gratitude for Altman’s contributions to OpenAI’s founding and growth but emphasized the need for new leadership to navigate the company’s future. They expressed full confidence in Murati’s capabilities to lead the company during this transitional phase.

The board, comprising independent directors such as Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Helen Toner of the Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology, along with OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, plays a crucial role in maintaining the company’s direction and mission integrity. Additionally, Greg Brockman, the chairman of the board, will be stepping down from his role but will continue his association with the company.

CTO Known For Integral Role In Growth

Stepping into the role of interim CEO is Mira Murati, the company’s Chief Technology Officer, known for her integral role in OpenAI’s growth and her deep understanding of the company’s operations and values.

Murati, a member of the OpenAI leadership team for five years, has been pivotal in shaping the company’s direction. Her expertise in AI governance and policy, coupled with her leadership in the company’s research, product, and safety functions, makes her an ideal candidate for the interim CEO position. The board anticipates a smooth transition as it embarks on a search for a permanent CEO.

OpenAI Announces Leadership Transition, CEO Sam Altman Steps Down

OpenAI, Inc, a prominent name in the field of artificial intelligence, has announced a significant change in its leadership. Sam Altman, who has been at the helm as CEO, is set to depart from both his role and the board of directors. The announcement comes after a thorough review process by the board, which concluded a need for new leadership.

Sam Altman Replaced By Mira Murati As Interim CEO At OpenAI

Story is breaking.

Featured image: jamesonwu1972/Shutterstock

Category News Generative AI
Kristi Hines

Covering the latest news in AI, search, and social media.

OpenAI Board Removes CEO Sam Altman: Explore The Timeline Of Events

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