OpenAI’s crisis escalates as more staff resign after CEO removal: Report

The turmoil at OpenAI continues to escalate after its founder Sam Altman was abruptly ousted on Nov. 17, with three senior researchers reportedly quitting the artificial intelligence company.

OpenAI’s board of directors announced Altman’s removal from the CEO position in a blog post, claiming that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.” According to the post, chief technology officer Mira Murati is now the interim CEO.

The decision triggered a wave of resignations in the company since then. OpenAI co-founder and president Greg Brockman announced his departure hours later. Senior staff members at OpenAI have reportedly resigned as well, including Jakub Pachocki, director of research, Aleksander Madry, head of preparedness, and Szymon Sidor, senior researcher.

At least one employee was laid off along with Altman’s removal. Alex Cohen, responsible for preparing presentations for OpenAI’s board of directors, also lost his job. “No one has told me why I was let go but Sam texted me “wtf” and next thing I know my Slack and Gmail were disabled,” Cohen said on X (formerly Twitter), predicting more OpenAI employees will resign in the coming days:

“I’d wager that 40% of OpenAI employees are currently looking at new roles. Sam and Greg were a big reason people joined the company and without them there I don’t know why they’d stay.”

OpenAI’s decision to remove Altman is believed to stem from disagreements with Ilya Sutskever, co-founder and chief scientist at the startup, particularly in regards to new fundraising and AI development.

Altman’s next steps are unclear following the recent developments. He is a founder of Tools for Humanity — the developer of the crypto project Worldcoin — and has been approached about joining new projects. Cardano’s founder, Charles Hoskinson, has invited Altman to join the ecosystem’s decentralized large language model (LLM).

Magazine: Are DAOs overhyped and unworkable? Lessons from the front lines