What Really Happened With Sam Altman Getting Fired As OpenAI CEO? New Details Emerge

New details have come to light about the short-lived expulsion of ChatGPT-parent, OpenAI's co-founder and CEO Sam Altman, from his leadership position at the company. 

What Happened: Altman’s abrupt dismissal last month was not as simple as it seemed. The board’s decision appears to have been instigated by Altman’s purported manipulative behaviors within the organization, reported Business Insider.

Altman’s candidness in his communications with the board was reportedly inconsistent, leading to accusations of playing board members against one another, particularly those who opposed his aggressive AI deployment strategy.

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One significant contention involved board member Helen Toner, who published a paper criticizing OpenAI’s swift AI roll-out and applauding competitor Anthropic. This dispute reportedly incited Altman to provoke discord between Toner and fellow board member, Tasha McCauley.

Inside OpenAI, Altman’s relationships reportedly deteriorated. 

Chief scientist Ilya Sutskever reportedly grew increasingly disgruntled with Altman’s decision-making methodology. The strain intensified when Altman promoted a researcher to a position equal to Sutskever, which the latter perceived as a degradation of his status, the report noted. 

Though Altman’s dismissal was short-lived, suggesting broad organizational support, his return did not alleviate the unease of several OpenAI senior leaders, who expressed their concerns about Altman’s disruptive influence on the board.

Despite the controversies, Altman was rapidly reinstated, hinting at the backing of powerful companies like Microsoft Corporation MSFT. He has yet to publicly respond to these allegations but acknowledged the necessity for more board members dedicated to AI safety.

Why It Matters: Altman’s temporary dismissal and the events that followed have cast a shadow on OpenAI’s internal dynamics. Upon his return, Altman expressed relief and contentment, stating that it proved OpenAI could function well without him.

Meanwhile, the future role of Sutskever remains uncertain. Amid rumors of receiving a new title, his presence at the company has notably diminished, raising speculations about his position following Altman’s contentious return. 

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Read Next: Reid Hoffman On Why Sam Altman Was Briefly Ousted From OpenAI: ‘Still Don’t Think We Fully Know’

This content was partially produced with the help of Benzinga Neuro and was reviewed and published by Benzinga editors.

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