Secret WhatsApp Group With Over 100 CEOs As Member Comes To Light After Sam Altman Crisis: Report
Sam Altman said that he still has some hard feelings about the whole ordeal. ChatGPT maker OpenAI witnessed a
ChatGPT maker OpenAI witnessed a harrowing time after it fired CEO Sam Altman last month. The artificial intelligence community witnessed high drama for five days before OpenAI reached an agreement to bring back Sam Altman as the CEO and appoint new board members after nearly all of its employees threatened to quit over his ouster. The company’s President and co-founder Greg Brockman also rejoined after a chaotic period that highlighted deep tensions at the heart of the artificial intelligence community. Amid this, a secret WhatsApp group with over 100 CEOs of Silicon Valley including Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Dropbox’s Drew Houston has come to light, as per a report in the New York Times.
The group blew up with messages after it was announced that the OpenAI board had fired Mr Altman. “Sam is out,” the text said. Immediately, executives started inquiring about what went wrong and “What did Sam do?”
Meanwhile, Microsoft’s chief technology officer Kevin Scott was informed by OpenAI’s chief technology officer Mira Murati about the same. She added that she would be named as the interim CEO. At Microsoft’s, Washington, headquarters, Mr Scott asked someone to inform CEO Satya Nadella immediately even though he was in a meeting with senior executives. The report states that Mr Nadella was shocked and called Ms Murati about the OpenAI board’s reasoning. The board had said that Mr Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications” and Ms Murati “didn’t have answers” to such questions.
Although it is still unclear what led to Mr Altman’s ouster, the CEO has said that he still has some hard feelings about the whole ordeal. “This was a very painful thing and felt to me, personally, just as a human, super unfair – the way it was handled,” he said while speaking to Trevor Noah on the “What Now” podcast.
Mr Altman was in Las Vegas, for the Formula One Grand Prix when he got the news that the board had sacked him. “I never got to watch any race that whole weekend. I was in my hotel room, took this call, had no idea what it was gonna be, and got fired by the board,” he said.
According to Mr Altman, his phone began to overflow with texts to the point that iMessage stopped functioning. “And then in the next like half hour, I got so many messages that iMessage like broke on my phone. My phone was just unusable because it was just like notifications non-stop and iMessage like hit this thing where it stopped working for a while. That message got delivered late, then it marked everything as read, so I couldn’t even like tell like,” he said.
However, Mr Altman looked and the bright side and stated that he learnt a lot from the whole incident despite its “painful cost”. He added, “The empathy I gained out of this whole experience, and my recompilation of values, for sure was a blessing in disguise. It was at a painful cost, but I’m happy to have had the experience in that sense.”