Sam Altman will not return as CEO of OpenAI, despite attempts by company executives to bring him back, according to co-founder and board director Ilya Sutzkever. After a weekend of talks with the board of directors that fired him on Friday, as well as its remaining leaders and top investors, Altman told employees he would not return to the startup he co-founded in 2015. Emmett Shear, co-founder of Amazon-owned video streaming platform Twitch, will take over as interim CEO, Chutzkever said.
The decision, which flew in the face of comments OpenAI executives shared with staff early Saturday and Sunday, could deepen the crisis with the board’s sudden ouster of Altman and the removal of President Greg Brockman from the board on Friday. Brockman, a key engineer behind the company’s successes, resigned later that day, followed by three senior researchers who threatened to trigger wide-ranging departures to OpenAI’s competitors, including Google, and Altman plans to start a new venture. His firing.
Distraught employees walked out of OpenAI headquarters in San Francisco shortly after 9 p.m., shortly after the decision was announced internally. One of those leaving the office appeared to be research chief Bob McGrew, one of several executives working to bring back Altman and Brockman.