End of OpenAI? Sam Altman won’t return, Emmett Shear of Twitch named interim CEO

End of OpenAI? Sam Altman won’t return, Emmett Shear of Twitch named interim CEO

Nov 20, 2023 - 12:30
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End of OpenAI? Sam Altman won’t return, Emmett Shear of Twitch named interim CEO

It seems that the end of OpenAI as we know it is upon us. Sam Altman the former CEO and one of the most prolific members of the studio that gave us ChatGPT will not be returning as the conversation around his reinstatement has fallen through.

As per a report by The Information, sources close to Altman have revealed that he will not be returning as OpenAI’s CEO after both of the conditions he set for his return were rejected.

Following a weekend of deliberations with the board of directors responsible for his dismissal on Friday, and discussions with the remaining leadership and principal investors, Altman has decided not to resume his role at the startup he co-founded in 2015, the report quotes a source.

A new CEO
Shear was one of the co-founders of the popular video game streaming site Twitch.Until March 2023, Emmett Shear served as the chief executive officer of Twitch and currently holds a part-time partnership role at the venture capital firm Y Combinator.

It is noteworthy that Y Combinator stands as one of the prominent investors in OpenAI, following Microsoft’s significant investment. Shear proved Vital for Twitch during its initial days in sourcing funding for the streaming platform and onboarding various creators as Twitch exclusive streamers, an act that helped Twitch solidify its position as the preferred game streaming platform.

Microsoft eyes seat at the table
The sudden ouster of OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and the removal of Greg Brockman from its 4-member board has forced OpenAI to revamp its board of directors. This gives Microsoft the perfect opportunity to execute a move that would ensure that it gets a seat at the table.

Although Microsoft was considering putting itself on the board, if Altman was reinstated, there is a good chance that they still might fight for a seat on the board of directors.

As per The Informationm two individuals familiar with the discussions revealed that Microsoft earlier wanted to secure a position on OpenAI’s board of directors and assume the role of a board observer without voting authority. Now, they may go for a proper seat, with voting powers.

Competition starts poaching OpenAI staff
Now that it has been finally decided not to return to OpenAI, several key personnel and engineers are all set to leave OpenAI and either follow Altman to his new venture, or join rival firms.

Three senior researchers at OpenAI tendered their resignations in the wake of the termination of CEO Sam Altman and the abrupt resignation of President Greg Brockman. This development marked a consequential aftermath for the artificial intelligence developer, according to individuals familiar with the situation.

The three researchers who resigned are Jakub Pachocki, who served as the company’s director of research; Aleksander Madry, responsible for leading a team focused on assessing potential risks associated with AI; and Szymon Sidor, a seasoned researcher with a seven-year tenure at the startup. Their decisions to resign were communicated to associates, as reported by sources.

Competitors such as Cohere and Adept have initiated new recruitment efforts targeting OpenAI employees. Concurrently, Google’s DeepMind has experienced an increase in the submission of resumes from individuals who were previously affiliated with OpenAI.

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