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What really happened at OpenAI when Sam Altman was fired

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Remember, on November 17, 2023, we learned that the OpenAI board of directors had decided to fire co-founder and CEO Sam Altman. For a few days, the world of Tech and the general public became passionate about this soap opera which ended with the strong comeback of the entrepreneur who had previously obtained the support of a large part of the staff.

The decision to fire Sam Altman

In the podcast The TED AI Show, Helen Toner, former member of the board of directors, returned to this event. She notably explained the reasons which pushed the latter to oust Sam Atman.

According to her, it was decided to act with complete discretion for fear of reprisals& ;nbsp;: “It was very clear to all of us that as soon as Sam had even the slightest suspicion that we might do something that went against his wishes, he would do everything in his power to undermine the board, to prevent us from getting to the point where we could fire him

The Australian researcher emphasizes that several causes led to this radical decision by the council. The CEO thus allegedly lied about the company's security process “on multiple occasions”. Likewise, he would have personally targeted him for having published a research document.

Several executives also argued that the entrepreneur was creating a toxic atmosphere within the organization and accused him of lying and manipulating his interlocutors.

The victory of Sam Altman

Helen Toner did not spend too much time on the days following Sam Alman's dismissal and his triumphant return. However, she says that the employees didn't have much of a choice.

They were told that they had to reinstate Sam Altman in his position and oust the board of directors or else OpenAI would collapse. According to her, many employees were also afraid to oppose the company manager, because they had already seen him take reprisals against people who opposed him.

OpenAI reacts

Quite heavily questioned in this podcast, the current management of OpenAI reacted through Bret Taylor, current chairman of the board of directors.

The latter states thus:

We are disappointed that Ms. Toner continues to return to these issues. An independent committee of the board of directors worked with the law firm Wilmer Hale to conduct a thorough review of the events of November. This review concluded that the previous board's decision was not based on concerns about product safety or security, pace of development, OpenAI's finances or his statements to investors, customers or business partners.

He adds: “Additionally, more than 95% of employees, including senior management, requested the reinstatement of Sam as CEO and the resignation of the former board of directors. administration. Our goal remains to move forward and continue OpenAI's mission so that AGI (artificial general intelligence) benefits everyone. ;#8217;humanity”.

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Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116