Sam Altman sacked: Who is Mira Murati, interim CEO of ChatGPT’s OpenAI?

Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer, will take over as interim CEO effective immediately, the company said, after the board of ChatGPT-maker said on Friday it has pushed out its co-founder and CEO Sam Altman. The company added that it is searching for a permanent replacement for Altman.

Mira Murati, interim CEO of OpenAI, (AFP)

Who is Mira Murati?

  • Born in Albania to Albanian parents and educated in Canada, Mira Murati is a mechanical engineer by training who built a hybrid racecar as an undergraduate student at Dartmouth College.
  • While in school, she interned at Goldman Sachs.
  • She joined OpenAI in 2018 after stints at Tesla, where she played an important role in the development of the Model X car, and Leap Motion, a start-up that developed a computing system to track hand and finger motions, The New York Times reported.
  • Murati spent three years at Tesla as a senior product manager at the EV company.
  • Murati was made CTO of OpenAI last year. “Given her long tenure and close engagement with all aspects of the company, including her experience in AI governance and policy, the board believes she is uniquely qualified for the role and anticipates a seamless transition while it conducts a formal search for a permanent CEO,” the company said in its statement.
  • Murati said she is “honored and humbled” to step into the leadership role at the company following the ouster of Sam Altman, according to a memo she sent to staff reviewed by news agency Bloomberg.
  • Murati also urged employees still reeling from the sudden departure of Altman, one of the most prominent figures in the artificial intelligence industry, to focus on their work.
  • “We are now at a crucial juncture where our tools are being widely adopted, developers are actively building on our platforms, and policymakers are deliberating on the best ways to regulate these systems,” Murati wrote in the memo.
  • “This is welcome progress and an opportunity to participate in a future where AI is built and used for good.”
  • She also said that the company would continue its partnership with Microsoft Corp., its largest investor.
  • Murati did not mention Altman by name in the memo.
  • Previously, Murati worked as an engineer at a French aerospace company.

Why ChatGPT-maker OpenAI fired CEO Sam Altman?

The board of Open AI, after a review, found Sam Altman was “not consistently candid in his communications” with the board.

“The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI,” the artificial intelligence company said in a statement.

The statement said his behaviour was hindering the board’s ability to exercise its responsibilities.

Altman posted Friday on X, formerly Twitter: “i loved my time at openai. it was transformative for me personally, and hopefully the world a little bit. most of all i loved working with such talented people. will have more to say about what’s next later.”

Altman helped start OpenAI as a nonprofit research laboratory in 2015. In the past year, he was thrust into the global spotlight as the face of OpenAI and the broader AI boom after ChatGPT exploded into public consciousness. On a world tour earlier this year, he was mobbed by a crowd of adoring fans at an event in London.

(With inputs from agencies)

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