Sam Altman had been a big name in Silicon Valley for years. From 2015 to 2023, he was the CEO of OpenAI, the company behind the AI chatbot ChatGPT. Altman had a reputation as one of the more ethical tech leaders.
But on November 17th, Altman was suddenly removed from his leadership role at OpenAI by the company’s board.
The board said they reviewed Altman’s performance and “concluded he was not consistently open in his communications with the board.” This apparently hurt the board’s ability to do its job.
After losing confidence in Altman’s leadership, the board named OpenAI’s chief technology officer Mira Murati as interim CEO.
When Altman heard the news, he expressed shock on social media platform X (formerly Twitter). He described it as like “reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive.”
i love you all.
today was a weird experience in many ways. but one unexpected one is that it has been sorta like reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive. the outpouring of love is awesome.
one takeaway: go tell your friends how great you think they are.
— Sam Altman (@sama) November 18, 2023
Altman plans to discuss his departure more publicly later. For now, he only offered more context by re-sharing a post from Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s former president.
Brockman was also removed from his leadership and board positions at OpenAI by the board’s decision. On social media, Brockman said he was surprised and confused, saying he is “still trying to figure out exactly what happened.”
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
So both Altman and Brockman have said this major leadership shakeup came as a total shock. Only time will tell what led the OpenAI board to make such a drastic move.
Who is Sam Altman?
Sam Altman, full name Samuel Harris Altman, was born on April 22, 1985 in Chicago, Illinois. He grew up in St. Louis, Missouri in a Jewish family. His mom is a dermatologist.
At age 8, Sam got his first computer, an Apple Macintosh, which sparked his interest in tech. He went to a private high school in St. Louis called John Burroughs School.
In 2005, after 1 year studying computer science at Stanford, Sam dropped out without finishing his degree.
At age 19, he co-founded a mobile app called Loopt that let people share their location. As CEO, he raised over $30 million in funding but the app didn’t get enough users. It was bought out in 2012 for $43 million.
Sam became a part-time partner at the startup incubator Y Combinator in 2011. In 2014, he was named President of YC. Under Sam’s leadership, the total value of YC companies grew to over $65 billion.
In 2016, Sam’s role expanded to President of the entire YC Group, including Y Combinator and other units. He aimed to grow YC to fund 1,000 new companies per year, especially “hard tech” companies.
In 2019, Sam transitioned from YC President to Chairman of the Board, so he could focus more on leading OpenAI. In early 2020, he left YC entirely.
So in his 30s, Sam built an impressive resume in Silicon Valley, leading two major tech companies with YC and OpenAI. But his journey to tech stardom started as a teen when he dropped out of Stanford to launch his own startup.
Sam Altman’s career as OpenAI CEO explored
In 2019, Sam Altman stepped down from his role as President of Y Combinator to focus full-time on leading OpenAI as CEO. He had helped launch OpenAI in 2015 along with others like Greg Brockman, Elon Musk, and YC.
By the time OpenAI launched, Sam had helped raise around $1 billion in funding for it. He was committed to growing OpenAI into a major AI research company.
In May 2023, Sam even testified before the US Senate about AI oversight issues, given OpenAI’s influential work in the field.
But things suddenly changed for Sam on November 17, 2023. On that day, it was announced that OpenAI’s board had decided to remove Sam as CEO due to a lack of confidence in his leadership.
This was a huge blow for Sam after leaving YC and pouring years into building up OpenAI. But the board felt it was time for new leadership, so Sam’s pioneering journey at OpenAI came to an abrupt end.
Sam Altman net worth
Sam Altman has done very well for himself as an entrepreneur. He’s made some smart investments over the years that have really paid off. Currently, experts estimate his net worth is somewhere between $500 million and $700 million. Pretty impressive! All that success is thanks to Altman’s business savvy and willingness to take risks on new ideas that weren’t proven yet. He bet big on himself and his judgement, and it seems to have worked out quite nicely in terms of his bank account. It’s always inspiring to see someone turn their visions into reality and be financially rewarded for all their hard work of building companies and products from scratch. Altman is definitively a model for entrepreneurial success through trusting your instincts and persevering.
We Know, You are looking a more celebrities net worth:
What companies has Altman invested his money in?
He’s funded startups like Asana, Zenefits, Instacart, Soylent and Airbnb by serving as an early angel investor.
What’s his role at OpenAI?
Altman is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the artificial intelligence research company.
What philanthropic things is he involved in lately?
He’s Chairman of nuclear energy companies Oklo and Helion. He has also donated to and supported several non-profit organizations.