OpenAI CEO’s ouster was over “breakdown of communications,” not “malfeasance” -memo

By Anna Tong

OpenAI’s CEO, Sam Altman, was recently ousted from his position due to what the company’s Chief Operating Officer, Brad Lightcap, described as a “breakdown in communication between Sam and the board.” In an internal memo viewed by Reuters, Lightcap emphasized that Altman’s firing was unrelated to any malfeasance or issues related to the company’s financial, business, safety, or security/privacy practices.

The sudden removal of Altman, the high-profile CEO, caught many by surprise and caused shock waves across the tech industry. In his place, the company has appointed former chief technology officer Mira Murati as interim CEO.

The abrupt management change not only took Altman by surprise, but also left many employees blindsided, as they learned of the news from the company’s public blog. Former OpenAI president and co-founder, Greg Brockman, resigned shortly after Altman’s dismissal, and senior researcher Szymon Sidor also confirmed his departure to Reuters.

In response to the upheaval, Lightcap addressed the company in the memo, stating, “We can say definitively that the board’s decision was not made in response to malfeasance or anything related to our financial, business, safety, or security/privacy practices. This was a breakdown in communication between Sam and the board.” He also reassured employees that the company is working to resolve the situation, emphasizing their responsibility to the company’s teammates, partners, users, customers, and the broader world that shares their vision of broadly beneficial AGI.

(Reporting by Anna Tong in San Francisco; editing by Kenneth Li and Franklin Paul)


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