Artificial intelligence (AI) startup OpenAI, the parent company behind ChatGPT, sacked Sam Altman as CEO. Following the news, and the appointment of an interim CEO, Charles Hoskinson appeared keen on having Altman join the world of crypto.
The Cardano founder, Charles Hoskinson, displayed a bit of schadenfreude on the heels of OpenAI’s confirmation that Altman would no longer be CEO of OpenAI.
Charles Hoskinson took to X (formerly Twitter) to extend an invitation to Altman, asking the former CEO to participate in a decentralized large language model (LLM) project.
Sam @sama since you have some free time now. If you are interested in doing a decentralized LLM, then hit me up. Would be a fun Cardano Partnerchain
— Charles Hoskinson (@IOHK_Charles) November 18, 2023
According to OpenAI’s announcement, the decision to fire Altman was made by the board of directors, which stated that it lost confidence in the founder’s ability to continue at the helm.
“Mr. 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.”
Altman issued a statement on social media that he loved his time at the company, adding that he would give more details about his next move.
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.
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 17, 2023
Altman was in charge of OpenAi for nearly five years. OpenAI’s former chief technology officer (CTO), Mira Murati, will take over as interim CEO, pending when the firm gets a permanent replacement.
Before joining OpenAI in 2018, Murati worked at Tesla, serving as the senior project manager of Model X.
“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.”
Brockman Left, Too
Altman wasn’t the only OpenAI exec to exit. The company’s president and co-founder, Greg Brockman, also left the company.
Before Brockman’s announcement, the AI company stated that the co-founder would no longer lead the board, but would maintain his position.
— Greg Brockman (@gdb) November 18, 2023
Brockman revealed that Altman received the news of his ousting as CEO from OpenAI’s chief scientist Ilya Sutskever during a Google Meet with the board in attendance.
Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today.
Let us first say thank you to all the incredible people who we have worked with at OpenAI, our customers, our investors, and all of those who have been reaching out.
We too are still trying to figure out exactly…
— Greg Brockman (@gdb) November 18, 2023
There were also reports that OpenAI’s investors were unaware of the firing of the firm’s CEO before the news went public.
Microsoft, which is a major investor in the AI firm, reportedly heard the news one minute before the firm published the announcement. The global tech giant released a statement saying that it would continue its partnership with OpenAI.
“We have a long-term agreement with OpenAI with full access to everything we need to deliver on our innovation agenda and an exciting product roadmap, and remain committed to our partnership, and to Mira and the team. Together, we will continue to deliver the meaningful benefits of this technology to the world.”
Meanwhile, there have been several reactions following Altman’s removal, with most people in the tech industry shocked at the development.
Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt praised Altman for his contribution to OpenAI, calling him his hero.
Sam Altman is a hero of mine. He built a company from nothing to $90 Billion in value, and changed our collective world forever. I can't wait to see what he does next. I, and billions of people, will benefit from his future work- it's going to be simply incredible. Thank you…
— Eric Schmidt (@ericschmidt) November 17, 2023
Tech analysts Dan Ives and Gene Munster were surprised at the news, with Munster doubting that the board’s decision was primarily based on Altman’s performance.
Sam Altman out as OpenAI CEO. I'm shocked. He just hosted a great DevDay, everybody loved it. More importantly he has led the company to faster success than any other tech company.
It doesn't feel that this decision is based on performance. There must be more to the story.
— Gene Munster (@munster_gene) November 17, 2023
Greg Isenberg, CEO and co-founder of product design firm Late Checkout, was shocked that the board removed Altman, despite the former CEO’s feat of skyrocketing OpenAi’s value from zero to $80 billion.
Sam Altman just got fired as OpenAI's CEO. He skyrocketed its value from zero to $80B, and still, he's out.
This is exactly why I steer clear of venture capital. One moment you're in, the next you're out.
You work for the board of directors, not for yourself.
— GREG ISENBERG (@gregisenberg) November 17, 2023
While some have speculated that Altman’s ousting was beyond an internal agreement, others believe that it was “an engineering-led coup.”
Maybe this is the crank in me but I refuse to believe Sam Altman – the CEO of the most talked-about tech company in the valley – was ousted because of an internal disagreement with the non-profit side of OpenAI. Just no way. Sorry
— Ed Zitron (@edzitron) November 18, 2023
Sam Altman being fired was an engineering-led coup.
This is going to backfire massively for several reasons.
1. Trying to keep OpenAI a genuine nonprofit is a dead end. Revenue and growth are the only things that keep the business sustainable
2. Its costs are enormous. It’s…
— Gabriel Garrett (∈/a⊆⊄) (@GabGarrett) November 18, 2023
Crypto Twitter took the opportunity to ask people to pivot from AI, stating that the cryptocurrency industry was devoid of board-related issues.
If you’re in AI, pivot to decentralization.
— Balaji (@balajis) November 18, 2023
If you're in AI, pivot to crypto. If you raise in tokens, life's good. No board, no board related problems 🚀⛽️🚀
— chainyoda (@chainyoda) November 18, 2023