Former OpenAI Board Member Who Tried To Oust Sam Altman Says CEO Was Fired From Y Combinator And Another Startup For 'Deceptive And Chaotic Behavior'


Former OpenAI board member Helen Toner has slammed CEO Sam Altman by pulling up his history with previous employers Y Combinator and startup Loopt Inc., opening up about the November saga at the world's leading AI startup.

What Happened: During a recent episode of The TED AI Show, Toner justified her moves to get Altman fired from OpenAI by saying he hid crucial information such as the launch of ChatGPT from the board.

In addition to this, Toner also brought into focus Altman's past employment history with startup accelerator Y Combinator, and a smartphone service provider Loopt. She says Altman was fired from both the companies over his "deceptive and chaotic behavior."

"It's come out that he was actually fired from his previous job at Y Combinator, which was hushed up at the time," Toner said, although Y Combinator co-founder Paul Graham had supported Altman during the November "palace coup."

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"And then at, you know, his job before that, which was his only other job in Silicon Valley, his startup Loopt, apparently the management team went to the board there twice and asked the board to fire him for what they called deceptive and chaotic behavior," she added.

Altman was "asked to leave" by Y Combinator due to prioritizing his personal goals over that of the company, reported The Washington Post in November.

See Also: OpenAI Drama Timeline: All The Twists And Turns, Starring Sam Altman

The executive emphasized that Altman’s dismissal was not an issue specific to the board members, contradicting Altman’s depiction of the situation. She pointed out that his track record does not exactly paint a rosy picture.

Why It Matters: Altman’s dismissal from OpenAI adds to a series of controversies surrounding his leadership, with issues coming to a head in November when he was fired along with then-president Greg Brockman over a video call.

Additionally, Toner, along with former OpenAI board member Tasha McCauley, has called for stricter AI regulation, a move that could be seen as a response to the chaos under Altman’s leadership.

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Read Next: OpenAI Former ‘Superalignment’ Lead Joins Jeff Bezos-Backed Rival Anthropic Days After Quitting Sam Altman’s Team

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

Photos courtesy: Shutterstock and Georgetown University

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