OpenAI’s newly appointed CEO Emmett Shear shared his vision in post X the situation with the dismissal of Sam Altman and the next steps to restore confidence in the company. According to Shear, it was not easy for him to accept the new position, but he decided to help because he believes that “OpenAI is one of the most important companies that exist today.”
“I have spent today drinking from the firehose as much as possible, speaking with the board, a small number of major partners, and listening to employees. Our partnership with Microsoft remains strong, and my priority in the coming weeks will be to make sure we continue to serve all our customers well. OpenAI employees are extremely impressive, as you might have guessed, and mission-driven in the extreme. And it’s clear that the process and communications around Sam’s removal has been handled very badly, which has seriously damaged our trust,” Shear wrote.
The new CEO of OpenAI shared his action plan for the next 30 days, which includes the following points:
- Hire an independent investigator to dig into the entire process leading up to this point and generate a full report;
- Continue to speak to as many of our employees, partners, investors, and customers as possible, take good notes, and share the key takeaways;
- Reform the management and leadership team in light of recent departures into an effective force to drive results for our customers.
“Depending on the results everything we learn from these, I will drive changes in the organization — up to and including pushing strongly for significant governance changes if necessary. I will be rolling these out as they become clear over the 30 day period. OpenAI’s stability and success are too important to allow turmoil to disrupt them like this. I will endeavor to address the key concerns as well, although in many cases I believe it may take longer than a month to achieve true progress,” Shear added.
According to him, before accepting the position, he checked what the decision of the board to dismiss Altman was based on and made sure that it was not any specific disagreement on security issues, their reasoning was completely different. As a reminder, the OpenAI Board of Directors fired Altman, stating that he “has not been consistently candid in his communications.” It also became known that Altman was in conflict with another OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist, Ilya Sutskever, over how to quickly develop generative AI and how to commercialize the company’s products.
However, Emmett Shear’s words made it clear that the commercial part was not the main problem. “I’m not crazy enough to take this job without the support of the board to commercialize our great models,” he said.
Despite Shear’s positive tone, he will have to face the dismissal of some OpenAI employees, who are now writing posts about how “OpenAI is nothing without its people” and are being actively reposted by Sam Altman.
In today’s announcement that Altman and Greg Brockman will be moving to Microsoft to lead a new research team, Satya Nadella hinted that some OpenAI employees will be leaving with them. It is still difficult to understand how big the wave of layoffs at OpenAI will be, but it seems that in any case, Microsoft will be the main beneficiary of this without exaggerating the “brain drain”.