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Sam Altman was at Las Vegas’ F1 event when he got fired from OpenAI: WSJ

Sam Altman was about to take in the Formula One festivities in Las Vegas on Friday when OpenAI’s board sent him an email before ousting him as the company’s chief executives, according to a new report.

Altman was sent a Google Meet link while he was at his hotel room during which the board members informed him of the decision that shocked Silicon Valley, The Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday.

Ilya Sutskever, an OpenAI co-founder and the chief scientist of the firm, was the one who sprung the news on Altman, according to the outlet.

Without explanation, he told Altman he was being fired from the company he started nearly a decade earlier, and that the news would soon be announced publicly, per The Journal.

Shortly after the video call ended, Altman was locked out of his computer and the board — which also consisted of Quora CEO Adam D’Angelo, Tasha McCauley of GeoSim Systems and Helen Toner, director at Georgetown’s Center for Security and Emerging Technology — released a painstakingly-vague statement calling Altman “not consistently candid in his communications with the board.”

Sam Altman was reportedly in Las Vegas for the F1 race when he received an email containing the link to a Google Meet call, during which he would be axed from the chief role.
Altman tuned into the virtual meeting from his Las Vegas hotel room, according to The Wall Street Journal.
MediaNews Group via Getty Images

The directors argued that Altman’s missteps were “hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.”

Representatives for OpenAI did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.

The board’s stunning decision led to most of OpenAI’s staff threatening to quit before Altman was reinstated on Wednesday and the board members dismissed.

An “initial board” consisting of chairman Bret Taylor, the former co-CEO of Salesforce, ex-Treasury Secretary Larry Summers and existing member D’Angelo was reportedly put in place.

Altman didn’t share anything on social media during his time at the F1 event, but shared to X on Friday: “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.”

The Google Meet call served as a catalyst for a chaotic weekend at the San Fracnsico-based company that began with OpenAI’s chief technology officer, Mira Murati, being named interim CEO.

Some 48 hours later, ex-Twitch boss Emmett Shear was tapped to lead the company as Altman announced plans to join OpenAI’s largest investor, Microsoft.

Roughly 72 hours after that, Altman was given his job back.

Sutskever, who resigned from his position on the board, had admitted that he wished Altman’s ouster had been handled differently.

Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s cofounder and the chief scientist of the leading AI firm, broke the news to Altman that he was fired. Sutskever later said he regretted his role in Altman’s ousting.
AFP via Getty Images

“I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we’ve built together and I will do everything I can to reunite the company,” Sutskever said.

Shear, meanwhile, said he was “deeply pleased” by OpenAI’s decision to reinstate Altman.

“Coming into OpenAI, I wasn’t sure what the right path would be. This was the pathway that maximized safety alongside doing right by all stakeholders involved. I’m glad to have been a part of the solution,” he added in a Wednesday morning tweet.

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