sam altman firing: The Sam Altman-OpenAI saga: top six developments you need to know

On Saturday morning, Indian startup founders and those following the tech world, woke up to the shocking news of Sam Altman being fired as the CEO of OpenAI.

The board of the Silicon Valley-based maker of AI chatbot ChatGPT suddenly ousted Altman – one of the most influential tech entrepreneurs of our times – stating “he was not consistently transparent in his communications, hindering the board’s ability to fulfill its responsibilities”.

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Albanian-origin chief technology officer of OpenAI, Mira Murati, was named the interim CEO.

As soon as the news broke, social media was abuzz with speculation about what may have panned out behind the closed doors of the OpenAI board room. Turns out, the board of the Microsoft-backed company, fired its CEO over a Google Meet call, OpenAI cofounder Greg Brockman, revealed on X. Brockman also resigned hours later.

In less than 48 hours since Altman was fired, the tech world has come out in support of the former Y Combinator president, demanding he be reinstated as the company’s chief.

“i love the openai team so much,” Altman posted on X, expressing his gratitude for the support he received.

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Here are the key developments since Altman’s firing:

Sam Altman said to be discussing return to OpenAI with company’s board

  • Since the 38-year-old Altman was fired, the startup’s investors and Altman’s supporters have exerted pressure on the four board members to reinstate Altman.
  • Microsoft, which has invested $13 billion in OpenAI, was reportedly leading the campaign to reinstate Altman.
  • OpenAI investors are reportedly willing to invest if he decides to establish a new company.

‘Saddened by what’s transpired’: Business leaders react to Altman’s ouster

  • The news of Altman’s removal sent shockwaves across the technology and wider business industry. Business leaders across the board reacted to the unexpected development.
  • Brian Chesky, cofounder and CEO of Airbnb, backed Altman saying, “Sam Altman and Greg Brockman have my full support. I’m saddened by what’s transpired. They, and the rest of the OpenAI team, deserve better.”
  • Calling Altman his hero, Eric Schmidt, who served as the CEO of Google from 2001 to 2011, said, “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.”

Take a look at what the business leaders had to say on Sam Altman’s ouster.

Founder vulnerability in technology ecosystem is worrying: Indian startup industry

  • Entrepreneurs and investors from India’s startup ecosystem were left reeling on Saturday after learning of the sudden dismissal of OpenAI cofounder and chief executive Sam Altman.
  • Silicon Valley accelerator Y Combinator became one of the best-known accelerator programmes globally under Altman, backing more than 230 startups in India as it turned highly bullish on the Indian market.
  • Razorpay founder and CEO Harshil Mathur even compared Altman’s dismissal to Apple cofounder Steve Jobs’ ouster from the company in the late 1980s.

Read how the Indian startup world reacted to Altman’s dismissal here.

How Sam Altman was fired as OpenAI CEO

  • OpenAI cofounder Ilya Sutskever grew increasingly concerned about the potential dangers of the company’s technology, feeling that Sam Altman wasn’t adequately addressing this risk,, NYT reported.
  • Sutskever, a member of the company’s board of directors, also objected to what he saw as his diminished role in the company.
  • The vote to remove Altman showed how a philosophical movement devoted to the fear of AI had become an unavoidable part of tech culture.
  • OpenAI’s board has not offered a specific reason for the dismissal, other than to say that it did not believe Altman was communicating honestly with them.
  • OpenAI employees were told that this development had nothing to do with “malfeasance or anything related to our financial, business, safety or security/privacy practice.”

Sam Altman-founded Worldcoin’s crypto token crashes 12%

  • Sam Altman’s ambitions crypto project Worldcoin saw its token plummeting on Saturday. The token called WLD fell more than 12% to $1.91, according to CoinMarketCap data.
  • Altman’s crypto project raised $115 million in May in a Series C round led by Blockchain Capital.

OpenAI’s $86 billion share sale in jeopardy after Altman firing: report

  • A planned sale of OpenAI employee shares that would value the startup at about $86 billion on paper hangs in the balance after Altman’s dismissal, The Information reported.
  • The tender offer, which Thrive Capital is leading, has not yet closed but has been in its final stages and was expected to be completed as soon as next month.
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