OpenAI is all over the news and this time, it’s got nothing to do with ChatGPT. At a time when ChatGPT was witnessing rapid development to stay ahead in the AI race between big corporations, a shocking turn of events saw the company’s CEO, Sam Altman, being axed from his position. Not just Altman but the board of directors also asked ex-OpenAI President Greg Brockman to step down from his role in the wee hours of a mid-November weekend, although he wasn’t fired from the company. The announcement was accompanied by the confirmation of a new interim CEO for the transition period – Mira Murati.
However, as you’re reading this, insider information now reveals that Mira Murati too has been let go of from her temporary role as interim CEO and instead, the board of directors has now tasked Emmett Shear, co-founder of Twitch, to look after OpenAI during the transitional phase until a new (and permanent) CEO is appointed. Meanwhile, Sam Altman and Greg Brockman are all set to become Microsoft employees, tasked by Satya Nadella to spearhead the company’s AI research division.
We understand that all of this is a LOT of information to grasp – three CEOs in three days with lots of accompanying drama in the firm that made ChatGPT. Not to mention, what happens to Mira Murati now? Well, stay with us as we deep dive into the life of OpenAI’s ex-interim CEO and how all of the drama unfolded.
Who is Mira Murati?
This was the million-dollar question on everyone’s mind over the weekend.
After Sam Altman’s surprising departure from the organisation, the board of directors released an official statement naming 34-year-old Mira Murati as the interim CEO of OpenAI during the transition phase of finding new leadership. Mira has been an OpenAI employee since 2018 and was promoted to the role of Chief Technology Officer in 2022.
Born in an Albanian family, Mira Murati moved to Canada in her teenage years to pursue higher education in Vancouver. She graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in mechanical engineering, wherein one of her highlights was building a hybrid race car!
Murati began her career as an intern at Goldman Sachs followed by another short stint at Zodiac Aerospace. Mira’s big break came in 2013 when she joined Tesla as a Senior Product Manager, playing a crucial role in the development of the Tesla X electric SUV. Her stint at Tesla ended in 2016 when she took on leadership roles at Leap Motion, a startup that focused on developing hand and finger-tracking movements for computers.
Her tenure at Leap Motion was cut short in 2018 when OpenAI hired her as the VP of Applied AI and Partnerships, working on supercomputing. In 2022, she was promoted to the role of Chief Technology Officer, eventually leading up to the role of interim CEO for a period of three days.
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Mira Murati’s OpenAI role wasn’t just technical
In her tenure of five years at OpenAI, Mira earned a reputation for leading the firm’s research while keeping an eye on safety functions.
“Mira has played a critical role in OpenAI’s evolution into a global AI leader. She brings a unique skill set, understanding of the company’s values, operations, and business, and already leads the company’s research, product, and safety functions.” wrote OpenAI in its letter to the media.
Who is replacing Mira Murati as OpenAI’s new CEO?
After just three days as the interim CEO of the company, industry insiders have confirmed Mira Murati’s departure from OpenAI. It is rumoured that Murati was siding with Altman and was working towards reinstating him as OpenAI’s CEO. The negotiations didn’t go according to plan, especially after Altman demanded the entire board of directors to step down from their roles. In her recent post on X, Murati wrote, “OpenAI is nothing without its people”, thereby hinting at her departure from the company. She is yet to announce her plans for the future.
Although there hasn’t been any official announcement from OpenAI regarding Murati’s departure, Microsoft’s CEO Satya Nadella took to X (erstwhile Twitter) to, indirectly, confirm Murati’s departure. In his post, Nadella wrote;
We remain committed to our partnership with OpenAI and have confidence in our product roadmap, our ability to continue to innovate with everything we announced at Microsoft Ignite, and in continuing to support our customers and partners. We look forward to getting to know Emmett…
— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 20, 2023
Replacing Murati is Emmett Shear. In his recent post on X, he confirmed OpenAI’s decision by stating “Today I got a call inviting me to consider a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: to become the interim CEO of @OpenAI. After consulting with my family and reflecting on it for just a few hours, I accepted.”
One of Shear’s immediate plans is to conduct an independent investigation that led to this management ruckus at the company.
For the uninitiated, Shear resigned as Twitch’s CEO in March 2023 after serving the company for 16 years. Originally founded as Justin.tv, his website was renamed Twitch in 2011 and quickly became popular amongst video game streamers. The company was acquired by Amazon in 2014.
What about Sam Altman?
As for Sam Altman, he now has a job at Microsoft. Satya Nadella, who played a key role in mediating the ruckus at OpenAI, was eager to announce the induction of Altman, Greg Brockman and a couple of his colleagues at Microsoft. Not surprisingly, they’ve been tasked to lead a new Advanced AI research team. At the same time, Microsoft will continue to partner with the new OpenAI management with Emmett Shear at the helm.
(Hero and Featured Image Credits: Courtesy @_iraurati via Instagram)
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
– Who is Mira Murati, the interim CEO?
Mira Murati was appointed as the interim CEO of OpenAI until Emmett Shear took over. Before that, she was working with the firm as its CTO.
– What is Mira Murati’s nationality?
Mira Muratu belongs to an Albanian family.
– Who is the CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI?
OpenAI’s current interim CEO is Emmett Shear. He was previously the CEO of Twitch.