In a joint statement Friday night, Sam Altman, the former CEO of ChatGPT maker OpenAI, and former president Greg Brockman said they were “shocked and saddened” by the day’s events, but insisted “we will be fine. Greater things coming soon.”
Altman, who was an OpenAI cofounder alongside Brockman, was fired on Friday after the company’s board of directors said it “no longer has confidence” in his leadership. Despite an initial statement claiming Brockman would be staying with the company, he resigned just hours later.
“Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today,” the pair said in their statement, posted on the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
“Let us first say thank you to all the incredible people who we have worked with at OpenAI, our customers, our investors, and all of those who have been reaching out,” the statement continued.
“We too are still trying to figure out exactly what happened. Here is what we know,” they continued.
“Last night, Sam got a text from Ilya asking to talk at noon Friday. Sam joined a Google Meet and the whole board, except Greg, was there. Ilya told Sam he was being fired and that the news was going out very soon,” they said.
“At 12:19pm, Greg got a text from Ilya asking for a quick call. At 12:23pm, Ilya sent a Google Meet link. Greg was told that he was being removed from the board (but was vital to the company and would retain his role) and that Sam had been fired. Around the same time, OpenAI published a blog post,” the continued
“As far as we know, the management team was made aware of this shortly after, other than Mira who found out the night prior.”
The statement concluded with, “The outpouring of support has been really nice; thank you, but please don’t spend any time being concerned. We will be fine. Greater things coming soon.”
In a separate statement posted to the same social media site, Altman said, “I love you all. today was a weird experience in many ways. but one unexpected one is that it has been sorta like reading your own eulogy while you’re still alive. The outpouring of love is awesome. one takeaway: go tell your friends how great you think they are.”
Sometime later, he appeared to be getting a bit more defiant, tweeting, “if i start going off, the openai board should go after me for the full value of my shares.“