Sam Altman Fired As OpenAI CEO: The Tech World Reacts

Are you ready to bring more awareness to your brand? Consider becoming a sponsor for The AI Impact Tour. Learn more about the opportunities here.

On the heels of the abrupt announcement today from OpenAI that its board of directors had fired co-founder Sam Altman as CEO due to him allegedly being “not consistently candid in his communications with the board,” the tech world is reacting with a range of emotions to the news.

While many on X cracked jokes alluding to OpenAI’s rivalries with Google and other companies, others sought to praise Altman for his role co-founding and shepherding the generative AI company to a valuation nearing $90 billion according to recent reports, and making it the centerpiece of the current generative AI boom in Silicon Valley and beyond.

Here are some of the most notable reactions from leading figures in the tech industry:

Sam Altman, co-founder and former CEO of OpenAI

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.


— Sam Altman (@sama) November 17, 2023

Satya Nadella, Microsoft CEO

As you saw at Microsoft Ignite this week, we’re continuing to rapidly innovate for this era of AI, with over 100 announcements across the full tech stack – from AI systems, models, and tools in Azure, to Copilot. Most importantly, we’re committed to delivering all of this to our…

— Satya Nadella (@satyanadella) November 17, 2023

Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google

Sam Altman is a hero of mine. He built a company from nothing to $90 Billion in value, and changed our collective world forever. I can’t wait to see what he does next. I, and billions of people, will benefit from his future work- it’s going to be simply incredible. Thank you…

— Eric Schmidt (@ericschmidt) November 17, 2023

Palmer Luckey, founder of Oculus VR and Anduril

Board-run OpenAI is NGMI.

“As he gazed at it suddenly Sam understood, almost with a shock, that this stronghold had been built not to keep enemies out of Mordor, but to keep them in.”

— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) November 17, 2023

“The majority of the board is independent, and the independent directors do not hold equity in OpenAI.”

This is crazy. Imagine being fired from your own company by people who have ZERO skin in the game!

— Palmer Luckey (@PalmerLuckey) November 17, 2023

Slava Akhmechet, Microsoft Engineer

Fun story about @sama. When my startup was falling apart I was an aspie nerd who didn’t care about money and didn’t understand normies who do. So I totally misread the situation, fucked up communication, and our investors thought I fucked them to get a yacht and a gold watch or…

— Slava Akhmechet (@spakhm) November 17, 2023

Eliezer Yudkowsky, senior research fellow, Machine Intelligence Research Institute

Mira Murati reached out to me in 2022 for a one-hour zoom call. Sam Altman never essayed any such contact. Also, I don’t think Murati has made any jokes about how funny it would be if the world ended. I’m tentatively 8.5% more cheerful about OpenAI going forward.

— Eliezer Yudkowsky ⏹️ (@ESYudkowsky) November 17, 2023

X (formerly Twitter) company account

VentureBeat’s mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Discover our Briefings.