Insights into Sam Altman's Departure from OpenAI—What We Know Now

So, after Sam Altman got kicked out from OpenAI on November 17, it was like, you know, a big deal. People inside and in the tech world said it was kind of a coup or something. They said many folks at OpenAI liked Altman, and his sudden leaving was a real shocker. They thought the board cared more about their ideas than what the stakeholders and workers wanted.

But now, we got more info on why Altman got the boot – even if they changed their minds later. The new revelation shows Altman isn't just some poor guy; he's pretty good at playing the corporate game, making people think he's great while causing problems inside.

One big fight was with Helen Toner, a board member. She said good things about Anthropic and bad things about ChatGPT, causing a lot of drama. Altman said it might cause trouble with the FTC. Toner said sorry, but Altman emailed the big shots at OpenAI himself, saying he scolded Toner. He said, "We're not on the same page on this," according to the Times. He even stirred up trouble between Toner and Tasha McCauley, another board member.

Photo: Bloomberg Television - YT

Altman and OpenAI's science head, Ilya Sutskever, also had issues. Sutskever was into careful AI, not Altman's "go fast, break things" style. They clashed when Altman promoted someone like Sutskever. It hurt Sutskever's status, so he said he might quit. The board felt like they had to pick between Sutskever and Altman.

It wasn't just these fights. Some board members thought Altman was tricky and too calculated. They weren't fans of his fast-tech-exec style, and when they talked about booting him, they wanted to surprise him. They worried he'd mess things up if he knew beforehand.

After Altman got the boot, Sutskever said Altman gave different opinions to two board members about someone in the company. The board also heard Altman gave the same job to two different people.

Altman didn't say he wasn't easy to work with, but in an interview with Trevor Noah, he admitted they needed more folks on the board worried about AI safety. He said, "We clearly got them wrong before."

Even though some folks at OpenAI didn't like Altman, he came back quickly. People at OpenAI praised him on social media, and the staff said they'd quit if he didn't come back. But some leaders at OpenAI went to the board with problems about Altman, saying he could mess up things and make people fight each other.

Altman is back, and it looks like the big supporters, like Microsoft, are okay with it. Sutskever also said sorry for what happened. But the word is Altman might want to fix his image.


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