OpenAI CTO Mira Murati reportedly involved in Sam Altman’s firing



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OpenAI is still recovering from the drama surrounding the firing and reinstatement of CEO Sam Altman. New details show that the rifts within the company’s leadership may be deeper than previously thought.

According to a report by the New York Times, OpenAI CTO Mira Murati played a key role in the temporary ouster of CEO Sam Altman. The NYT’s sources say she wrote a private memo to Altman raising questions about his leadership. She also reportedly shared her concerns with the board of directors.

Murati described alleged manipulative behavior by Altman, who would get his colleagues to support his decisions and undermine those who challenged him or, in his view, took too long to decide.

Co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever also reportedly raised concerns about Altman’s manipulative behavior. Both executives described a toxic work environment that Altman had created.

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Board members feared that if top executives like Murati and Sutskever left the company because of Altman’s behavior, talent would leave.

Instead, hundreds of employees threatened to leave if Altman was not reinstated. OpenAI was on the verge of collapse.

Altman controls OpenAI’s AI startup investments

Other concerns included Altman’s control of OpenAI’s startup fund, which some members felt circumvented the accountability of OpenAI’s nonprofit governance structure.

The fund, established in late 2021, invests in AI startups and is named OpenAI, but is legally owned by Sam Altman. According to OpenAI, this is a temporary structure to get the fund up and running as quickly as possible.

Until now, Altman’s ouster appeared to be a solo effort by the board, largely due to a dispute over a paper co-authored by board member Helen Toner that praised the AI safety approach of OpenAI competitor Anthropic and criticized OpenAI.

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