(Bloomberg) — Since OpenAI fired its co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Sam Altman on Friday, a host of players across the tech industry have come onto the scene.
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From co-founders to chief executives, here are their roles and how they play into the escalating series of events happening at the artificial intelligence firm.
The 38-year-old American entrepreneur co-founded OpenAI in 2015 and took the reins as chief executive officer in 2019 before he was suddenly ousted by the board on Nov. 17.
Now, the company’s biggest investors, including Microsoft Corp., Thrive Capital and Tiger Global Management, are pressing the company to reinstate him. OpenAI was “optimistic” it could bring back Altman and other key employees who left, Chief Strategy Officer Jason Kwon said in a memo to staff, the Information reported.
Brockman, who co-founded OpenAI eight years ago in his apartment, quit as president on Friday hours after the board pushed out Altman. Brockman wrote in a post on the social media site X: “Based on today’s news, I quit.”
Brockman had been due to step down from his role as board chairman but stay on at the company, reporting to the new CEO.
OpenAI appointed Murati as interim CEO after the company ousted Altman. She wrote that she was “honored and humbled” to take up the position, saying it was important for OpenAI to remain “focused, driven, and true to our core values,” according to a memo seen by Bloomberg.
Previously chief technology officer, the Albanian-born, Dartmouth-educated engineer helped develop some of the company’s best-known products.
The Microsoft CEO reached out to Altman following the firing to offer him support in his next steps, people with knowledge of the situation told Bloomberg.
Microsoft is OpenAI’s largest investor with a stake worth more than $10 billion. Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO in 2014.
Sutskever, OpenAI’s chief scientist and co-founder, was one of the board members who Altman clashed with over some aspects including the pace of developing generative AI, a person with direct knowledge of the matter told Bloomberg.
He asked Altman for a call on Friday and told him that he was fired on a Google Meet, Brockman said in a post on X, formerly Twitter.
Khosla, an Indian-American businessman and venture capitalist, said that his firm wanted Altman “back at OpenAI but will back him in whatever he does next,” in a statement on X. Khosla is the co-founder of Sun Microsystems and the founder of Khosla Ventures.
Kushner is the founder and managing partner of the venture capital firm Thrive Capital, one of the largest investors in OpenAI. He’s also co-founder of Oscar Health, an American health insurance company.
D’Angelo, an OpenAI board member, is the co-founder and CEO of Quora, a private company that works as an internet platform compiling a collection of questions and answers created by users. His profile on X says D’Angelo is working on a fast AI chat software called Poe.
McCauley — also an OpenAI board member — is a robotics engineer and the CEO of GeoSim Systems, a company focused on advanced 3D-city mapping technology.
Toner, another board member, is director of strategy and foundational research grants at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology (CSET). Before joining CSET, Toner lived in Beijing, studying the Chinese AI ecosystem as a research affiliate of Oxford University’s Center for the Governance of AI.
–With assistance from Carolina Wilson.
(Updates with additional profiles. An earlier version corrected the size of Microsoft’s stake.)
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