The Sam Altman Saga – What’s Going On At OpenAI?

The Sam Altman Saga – What’s Going On At OpenAI?

sam altman

Over the last few weeks, there’s been a flood of information streaming out of OpenAI – and there’s rarely been a week that’s gone by since the start of the year where either Sam Altman or OpenAI have been in the news. Altman could have pioneered the most remarkable technological change in human history, with many people speculating that the sector needs strong and urgent regulation before the innovative technology could spiral out of control.

New Technology and Business Direction

When any new technology emerges, there’s always a rush for companies to get in there and get ahead of everybody else. You only need to have a look at how many AI companies have emerged since the mega news about ChatGPT last year and how it’s the most significant news within the technology sector since perhaps the emergence of cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency online games a decade earlier.

However, initial signs are auspicious as the likes of OpenAI become a globally recognized name – but with such notoriety, there will be inevitable teething problems, the likes of which we have seen emerge with their face and CEO Sam Altman.

Sam Altman’s Rise To Fame

It’s been a life-changing twelve months for Sam Altman – few people would have known the name outside the tech industry this time last year. However, any movement with him or OpenAI now becomes global news, a result of the speed and creativity of the technology company he heads.

The 38-year-old is a Stanford University dropout who found success in a range of tech start-ups before selling them to investors – but OpenAI has been the groundbreaker that has the world talking. Although the possibilities are breathtaking, there have been some stark warnings regarding regulation; Altman has delivered many such warnings. Some believe that recent developments have resulted in this current debacle, which saw Sam lose his job and regain it within the same week.

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Greater Issues At OpenAI?

When a company sacks its CEO, immediately reinstates them following an almost universal staff rebellion, and then fires members of staff who were responsible for the initial decision, this indicates that there might be a bit of animosity and resentment banded around the walls of their San Francisco based HQ.

While Altman might be pleased to have such strong backing from his staff and investors alike, there’s clearly a genuine non-existence of cohesion among the senior boardroom members at the company. As he returns to his position, this will be high on the agenda. Nobody seems to know what the actual issue that has caused all of these stories to compound together. Regardless of what has happened, in the defense of OpenAI, it has responded quickly and resolved it a lot quicker than many other businesses of their size would have done.

Few companies have the global notoriety that OpenAI now has. Maybe this has fueled the decision to put the whole saga to bed and return to the status quo as quickly as possible, but the staff and board room at OpenAI can be praised for the short-term nature of this crisis. There are other institutions or companies where such drama has dragged on for weeks or months at a time.


Some have speculated that Sam Altman was temporarily unemployed this week due to his rhetoric around the existential threat posed by AI if not adequately regulated or if it falls into the wrong hands, or the focus revolves more on weapons and less on the common good.

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Others, especially the multi-billion dollar San Franciscan tech giant staff, believe it was an attempt to form a coup and oust him from the top. If it was the latter, it’s a move that has backfired quite spectacularly and has led to some of the key figures who engineered the proposal seeing the exit later on this week now that Altman is back at the helm.

Now it is clear where Altman stands and the current disposition of the employees regarding any forced CEO change; you’d think there would be some calm. The attempted business coup hasn’t worked, and now that Altman has re-affirmed his popularity among the staff, the company will be able to push on and look at other innovations to continue shaping the AI world and generate ideas that will permeate other sectors and create a society where AI will be indispensable for everyday life.


Featured image provided by cottonbro studio; Pexels; Thanks!


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