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Who is Emmett Shear, new CEO of OpenAI (in turmoil)

Who is Emmett Shear, new CEO of OpenAI (in turmoil)

OpenAI chooses Emmett Shear, co-founder of the streaming platform Twitch, to succeed Sam Altman. Meanwhile, more than 500 of OpenAI's 700 employees are threatening to follow Altman to Microsoft unless the board resigns

Third CEO on the third day following the ouster of Sam Altman at the helm of OpenAI, the developer of ChatGpt, the chat based on generative artificial intelligence that simulates conversation with a human being.

OpenAI founder and CEO Sam Altman was forced to resign and leave the board of directors last Friday. In a blog post , the company disclosed that the decision comes after a review process that found Altman “has not consistently been candid in his communications” with other board members. ( Here is Startmag 's in-depth analysis on ChatGpt, what is happening in OpenAi. Here are Microsoft's latest moves).

At the same time, Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati briefly became interim CEO of OpenAI, following the surprise firing of Sam Altman. Meanwhile, numerous OpenAI employees have publicly shown support for Altman during negotiations with OpenAI's board of directors to bring him back to the top of the company.

Today the OpenAI board of directors selected Emmett Shear as interim CEO, news confirmed on Monday by the co-founder of Twitch on X (formerly Twitter) .

The official announcement comes just an hour after Microsoft confirmed it had hired Sam Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman to form a new advanced artificial intelligence research team. Microsoft is among the main investors in OpenAi, following a $10 billion investment in early 2023.

“An unexpected move destined to deepen rifts after the board of directors fired the co-founder of the artificial intelligence company,” comments the Financial Times.

Meanwhile, more than 500 of OpenAI's more than 700 employees have signed an open letter calling on OpenAI's board to resign following the ouster of former CEO Sam Altman.

All the details.


“Today I received a call inviting me to consider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: becoming interim CEO of OpenAI,” says Emmett Shear in a post on X. “After consulting with my family and thinking about it for just a few hours, I accepted".

So Shear takes over from Mira Murati. The decision came at the end of a chaotic week, after the company's surprise decision to fire CEO Sam Altman, one of the main faces of the artificial intelligence revolution. Over the weekend, ChatGpt employees and investors mounted a campaign to try to convince the company to reconsider, but it didn't happen.


In fact, Shear accepted the position at the helm of OpenAI "because I believe that OpenAI is one of the most important companies currently in existence", he explains in the post on I took the decision lightly. In the end I felt I had a duty to help if I could.”

Shear stepped down as CEO of Twitch earlier this year after co-founding the Justin.tv platform that eventually became Twitch, the video streaming service acquired by Amazon in 2014.


Just as Microsoft reiterated that the partnership with OpenAI is still alive, Shear shared a similar message, The Verge points out. “Our partnership with Microsoft remains strong and my priority in the coming weeks will be to ensure we continue to serve all our customers well,” says Shear.

“The stability and success of OpenAI are too important to allow turbulence to disrupt them in this way,” Shear continues. “I will also try to address the main concerns, although in many cases I think it may take more than a month to achieve real progress.”

In his message, the new CEO highlights that “OpenAI employees are extremely impressive, as you may have guessed, and extremely mission-driven. And it is clear that the process and communications surrounding Sam's removal were very poorly handled, which seriously damaged our trust."


And speaking of OpenAI's employees, the company doesn't have much to rest easy.

More than 500 of OpenAI's more than 700 employees have signed an open letter calling on OpenAI's board of directors to resign following the ouster of former CEO Sam Altman, US media outlets including Axios report.

Not only that, the employees are demanding that the board appoint “two new independent directors, such as Bret Taylor and Will Hurd” and reinstate Altman and former chairman Greg Brockman. If not, they have threatened to move to the new Microsoft research unit that Altman will build.


But beyond the support of the vast majority of the company's employees, Altman has already received the first "repentances" from OpenAi's senior figures. OpenAI chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, who led the board's rebellion to oust Altman, Axios reports, now says he "deeply regrets my participation in the board's actions."

“I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we have built together and will do everything I can to bring the company together,” Sutskever wrote in a message on X-


This last one also signals that the turbulence in OpenAI will not be easy to resolve, The Verge underlines. Shear now plans to hire an independent investigator to compile a report on the process that led to Altman's firing. It also plans to “reform the management and leadership team in light of recent departures into an effective force to deliver results for our clients.”

According to the Financial Times , another pressing issue for Shear is how to maintain the support of investors, including venture capital firms Thrive Capital, Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital, who have been fighting to reinstate Altman.

This is a machine translation from Italian language of a post published on Start Magazine at the URL https://www.startmag.it/innovazione/chi-e-emmett-shear-nuovo-ceo-di-openai-in-subbuglio/ on Mon, 20 Nov 2023 15:19:15 +0000.