Sam Altman Says He Feels Selfishly Good About Getting Ousted From OpenAI

In a surprising turn of events, Sam Altman, the briefly ousted and quickly reinstated CEO of OpenAI, has expressed a sense of relief and satisfaction about his temporary departure from the company. Altman, who was fired on November 17, has shared his unconventional perspective on the matter in a recent interview with The Verge’s Alex Heath. Contrary to the typical response one might expect from someone in Altman’s position, he admitted that the experience of being away from OpenAI was enlightening. “I learned that the company can truly function without me, and that’s a very nice thing,” Altman stated in the phone call with Heath.

Altman highlighted that his return to OpenAI came with a newfound sense of freedom, unburdened by the stress he felt previously. He expressed a level of satisfaction in realizing that the company could thrive in his absence, attributing this success to the leadership team he had either chosen or mentored. “I selfishly feel good because either I picked great leaders or I mentored them well,” he remarked. “It’s very nice to feel like the company will be totally fine without me, and the team is ready and has leveled up.”

The circumstances of Altman’s departure were rooted in the board’s decision to terminate him, citing issues with consistent communication. However, the coup against Altman was short-lived, lasting only five days. The majority of the company’s staff threatened to quit unless the board was replaced and Altman reinstated, leading to his return as CEO.

While Altman acknowledged his initial defiance upon being asked to return, he ultimately embraced the opportunity. As for the reasons behind his initial firing, Altman remained tight-lipped, stating that the company’s new board would conduct an independent review. He emphasized the importance of letting the review process unfold before discussing the specifics.

The curious case of Sam Altman’s brief departure from OpenAI continues to raise questions, with the CEO seemingly content and even appreciative of the lessons learned during this tumultuous period.

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