Skip to main content

What happened to Sam Altman?

What happened to Sam Altman?


The face of the AI boom has been fired from OpenAI. What comes next is anyone’s guess.

Share this story

If you buy something from a Verge link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Sam Altman.
Sam Altman.
Photo by Andrew Caballero-Reynolds

On Thursday night, Sam Altman showed up at a warehouse in Oakland to talk to a room full of artists about generative AI. It was a busy day; just hours before, he was onstage at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit in downtown San Francisco speaking to world leaders. 

At the Oakland warehouse, Altman was his usual self, cheering OpenAI’s work and coming across as relaxed, according to someone in the audience. He couldn’t linger, though. At about 7:40PM he told the room that he was running late to a meeting and bounced. 

It would be his last public appearance as the CEO of OpenAI. On Friday, he was suddenly fired by the company’s board of directors for not being “consistently candid in his communications.” Employees found out about the news at the same time as everyone else. Even Microsoft, which has plowed billions of dollars into the company, found out only moments before. 

Start your Command Line free trial now to continue reading

This story is exclusively for subscribers of Command Line, our newsletter about the tech industry’s inside conversation. Subscribe to a plan below for full access.

Already a Command Line subscriber?Sign in

We accept credit card, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Having issues?Click here for FAQ