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  • Sam Altman is out as CEO of OpenAI. 
  • The former boss was ousted by the company’s board on Friday, kickstarting a weekend of chaos.
  • Despite reports of his potential return, Altman has jumped ship to Microsoft.

Sam Altman, former CEO of OpenAI and the face of ChatGPT, is out of the company he cofounded.

The tech boss was fired in a shock board decision on Friday, kickstarting a chaotic weekend. Initial reports started circulating that the board was wavering on its decision and actively trying to get Altman back.

But by Monday, it all appeared to have fallen apart.

Former Twitch CEO and cofounder, Emmett Shear, was named interim CEO of the company, and Altman had joined Microsoft.


Here’s everything that happened over the weekend.

Altman was ousted from OpenAI in a shock board decision

Altman was immediately ousted from OpenAI in a dramatic board decision on Friday. The nonprofit board of the company announced it no longer had “confidence in his ability to continue leading.”

According to a timeline provided by fellow OpenAI cofounder Greg Brockman, Altman received a text from board member Ilya Sutskever asking to talk at midday Friday.

When Altman joined the meeting, the whole board, excluding Brockman, was on the call and he was told by Sutskever he was being fired, per Brockman’s post.


OpenAI staffers resigned

Brockman, the former OpenAI president and cofounder, quit his role at the company shortly after the news broke.

Brockman said he was told that he was being removed from the board and that Altman had been fired at about the same time OpenAI published a blog post about the incident. Brockman was originally told he was “vital to the company and would retain his role” but decided to part ways with the company shortly after.

The decision was met with shock from the tech community, and at least three other OpenAI researchers followed the former president in giving up their roles.

OpenAI board was ‘optimistic’ about getting Altman back

Investors, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, were reportedly “blindsided” by the decision to remove Altman.


Several investors began pushing the board members to reverse their sudden leadership decision, per Bloomberg.

According to an internal memo reported by The Information, OpenAI’s Chief Strategy Officer Jason Kwon wrote to staff late Saturday night saying that the company remained “optimistic” that it could bring back Altman and the senior employees who had left the company.

Microsoft chief Nadella reportedly led the high-stakes talks on Altman’s return over the weekend.

On Sunday, the former OpenAI chief returned to the company’s HQ. He posted a picture of himself wearing a guest badge captioned, “first and last time I ever wear one of these.”


Discussions fell apart and a new CEO was announced

The Information reported that on Sunday night, Sutskever told OpenAI staffers that Altman would not be returning, prompting several more employees to quit.

Discussions to bring Altman back had reportedly fallen apart, per The Verge. The board then named former Twitch CEO and cofounder Emmett Shear as interim CEO. Shear took over the role from OpenAI’s former CTO Mira Murati, who had publicly supported Altman.

Altman and Brockman join Microsoft

In a final twist, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella scooped up Altman and Brockman to lead “a new advanced AI research team” at Microsoft.

In a post on X, Brockman said the new Microsoft team would comprise him, Altman, Aleksander Madry, Szymon Sidor, and Jakub Pachocki. He said the team planned to “build something new” and “incredible.”


Nadella announced on Monday the company remained “committed to our partnership with OpenAI” and had “confidence in our product roadmap.”

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