OpenAI fallout since Sam Altman’s departure as CEO

Since OpenAI’s shock announcement that Sam Altman would step down as CEO last Friday, a number of interesting developments have taken place.

Since OpenAI’s shock announcement that Sam Altman would step down as CEO last Friday, a number of interesting developments have taken place. 

In its statement released last Friday, OpenAI’s board of directors shared that after “a deliberative review process,” it “no longer has confidence in his (Altman’s) ability to continue leading OpenAi.”

Altman will be replaced by technology chief, Mira Murati, as interim CEO.

OpenAI, which has raised billions of dollars from Microsoft, kicked off the generative AI craze in November 2022 by releasing its ChatGPT chatbot to the public. ChatGPT went viral by allowing users to convert simple text to create new content, including audio, code, images, text, simulations, and videos, which pushed big tech companies such as Alphabet and Meta to step up their investments in generative AI.

While Microsoft’s shares initially nosedived after the announcement, closing the day down 1.7% at $369.84 ,the company rebounded on Monday after the tech giant announced it had hired the ousted CEO and other key staff of the startup.

Microsoft’s shares rose as much as 2% to a record high on Monday, and is on track to add nearly $30 billion to its market value at current levels.

Altman will lead a new research team at the software giant, joining Greg Brockman, another OpenAI cofounder, as well as other researchers including Szymon Sidor.

After the Microsoft announcement, hundreds of OpenAI employees, 500 within 2 hours, had signed a letter demanding that either OpenAI’s remaining board members resign or those OpenAI employees will join Sam Altman’s new venture at Microsoft. This included co-founder and board member Ilya Sutskever.

While Altman was pictured at the firm’s HQ on Monday, the now former OpenAI boss is unlikely to be reinstated, cheekily writing on X, formerly Twitter, “First and last time I ever wear one of these”, accompanied by a photo of him holding a guest ID pass.

For a company whose value has soared this year to more than $US80 billion (A$122 billion), the fallout since Altman’s shock axing has been palpable.

What happens next in the AI space is sure to be riveting viewing, as rival companies, such as Amazon and Samsung Electronics, step up efforts to challenge market leaders Microsoft and Google in the artificial intelligence race.

Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance.


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