ChatGPT creator Open AI removes Sam Altman after losing ‘confidence’ in him, appoints Mira Murati as interim CEO

Open AI, the firm that created ChatGPT, on Friday (November 17, 2023) announced its CEO Sam Altman was removed after it lost confidence in his ability to lead the tech company.

Open AI removes CEO Sam Altman. Photo Courtesy: Sam Altman Facebook page

The company said OpenAI’s Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati will serve as the interim CEO.

Who is Mira Murati?

In its statement, Open AI said Mira Murati has been serving in the company’s leadership team for five years.

“Mira has played a critical role in OpenAI’s evolution into a global AI leader,” the company said in a statement.

“She brings a unique skill set, understanding of the company’s values, operations, and business, and already leads the company’s research, product, and safety functions,” the statement said.

“Given her long tenure and close engagement with all aspects of the company, including her experience in AI governance and policy, the board believes she is uniquely qualified for the role and anticipates a seamless transition while it conducts a formal search for a permanent CEO,” the firm said.

Mira Murati, 34, was born in Albania to Albanian parents.  

At the age of 16, she left Albania to attend Pearson College UWC, in Canada.

According to reports, Murati started her career as an intern at Goldman Sachs in 2011. She then worked at Zodiac Aerospace from 2012 to 2013.

She spent three years at Tesla as a senior product manager of Model X before joining Leap Motion.
What did Open AI say in its statement about the decision to oust Sam Altman?

“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,” the tech firm said in a statement.

Speaking further on the decision to remove Sam, the firm said: “Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities. The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”

In a statement, the board of directors said: “OpenAI was deliberately structured to advance our mission: to ensure that artificial general intelligence benefits all humanity. The board remains fully committed to serving this mission. We are grateful for Sam’s many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward. As the leader of the company’s research, product, and safety functions, Mira is exceptionally qualified to step into the role of interim CEO. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead OpenAI during this transition period.”

OpenAI’s board of directors consists of OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, independent directors Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, technology entrepreneur Tasha McCauley, and Georgetown Center for Security and Emerging Technology’s Helen Toner.

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.

OpenAI was founded as a non-profit in 2015.

The company restructured itself in 2019.

Following his removal, Sam posted on X: “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,” he said.