The recent upheaval at OpenAI, resulting in the unexpected firing of CEO Sam Altman and the departure of President Greg Brockman, left the tech world in shock. As the dust settles, we delve into the identities of the key decision-makers who orchestrated this unprecedented move, shedding light on the individuals shaping the destiny of one of the most influential AI companies.
In a surprising turn of events, the board of directors, responsible for overseeing the nonprofit organization that controls OpenAI, made the decision to oust Altman and remove Brockman from the board. Altman, a co-founder and key figure in the company’s journey, found himself at the center of this unforeseen corporate shake-up.
OpenAI’s unique corporate structure adds an intriguing layer to the story. Directors, according to OpenAI’s own description, hold no equity in the company, emphasizing their commitment to the company’s mission of creating safe artificial general intelligence (AGI) that benefits humanity.
Let’s meet the decision-makers:
- Adam D’Angelo: CEO of Quora, joined OpenAI’s board in April 2018. Known for his advocacy of general AI with safety in mind, D’Angelo’s views align with OpenAI’s capped-profit business structure.
- Tasha McCauley: An adjunct senior management scientist at RAND Corporation, McCauley brings a diverse background, having co-founded startups and been involved in AI governance principles.
- Ilya Sutskever: The sole remaining co-founder on the board, Sutskever is OpenAI’s Chief Scientist, contributing significantly to AI research history.
- Helen Toner: Director of strategy and foundational research grants at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology, Toner joined the board in September 2021, focusing on safety in a globally influential AI landscape.