OpenAI has seen its third CEO appointed within a few days following the upheaval after Sam Altman’s dismissal.
Emmett Shear has swiftly stepped into the role of interim CEO at OpenAI, marking the third leadership change in as many days. This surprising shift follows the unexpected departure of former CEO Sam Altman, whom Twitch co-founder Shear swiftly succeeded.
The news of Shear’s appointment was unveiled by The Information on Sunday evening, coinciding with Microsoft’s confirmation of hiring Altman and OpenAI co-founder Greg Brockman for an advanced AI research team.
In a statement shared on X (formerly Twitter), Shear responded to the unforeseen opportunity: “I received an unexpected invitation today—a chance of a lifetime: to lead as the interim CEO of OpenAI. After deliberation with my family and some quick reflection, I accepted.”
Shear’s background includes co-founding Justin. TV later evolved into Twitch, where he served as CEO before stepping down earlier this year. His assumption of the interim CEO role arrives amidst a period of upheaval within OpenAI.
Previously, Mira Murati briefly took on the temporary CEO position immediately after Altman’s departure. Notably, many employees publicly supported the former CEO amidst negotiations between OpenAI’s board and Altman.
Shear assumes control of OpenAI in a significant reorganization almost a year following the debut of ChatGPT. “I accepted this position because I truly believe that OpenAI stands as one of the most crucial companies of our time,” Shear states.
“When the board presented the circumstances and approached me for this role, I didn’t take the decision lightly. Ultimately, I felt a responsibility to offer assistance where possible.”
In a manner reminiscent of Microsoft reaffirming the ongoing nature of their partnership with OpenAI, Shear echoed a similar sentiment.
“Our alliance with Microsoft remains robust, and my immediate focus will be ensuring continued exemplary service to all our clientele,” Shear conveyed.
“The caliber of OpenAI personnel is remarkable, driven by a profound sense of purpose. However, the mishandling of Sam’s departure has severely fractured our trust, evident in the flawed process and communication.”
The upheaval within OpenAI presents a daunting challenge to reconcile, especially with Altman and Brockman, now part of Microsoft—a rumored major stakeholder with 49 percent ownership of OpenAI.
Shear intends to enlist an independent investigator to compile a comprehensive report detailing the events leading to Altman’s dismissal.
Simultaneously, within 30 days, he aims to overhaul OpenAI’s management and leadership structures, anticipating potential resignations among dissatisfied executives and staff.
“Preserving OpenAI’s stability and prosperity outweighs the disruption caused by this turmoil,” Shear asserted.
“I am committed to addressing primary concerns, understanding that achieving substantial progress might extend beyond a month in several instances.”