Both outlets reported that Microsoft, a prominent investor in the company, was leading the charge to reinstate Mr Altman.
The company announced the leadership change on Friday. “Mr. Altman’s departure follows a deliberative review process by the board, which concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities,” the company wrote. “The board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI.”
While publicly citing communication issues, behind closed doors, the board and Mr Altman appeared to diverge when it came to OpenAI’s future. Mr Altman was hoping to push development more aggressively than the board, CNN reported.
Greg Brockman, the president and cofounder of OpenAI who was asked to leave the board, wrote on X that the operation to upend the leadership happened quickly.
Mr Altman was asked to join a video call with the board at noon on Friday and was immediately fired. Mr Brockman was not a part of the video meeting, he said. Twenty minutes later, Mr Brockman was told that he could stay in his role, but was being removed from the board, he wrote.
“We too are still trying to figure out exactly what happened,” Mr Brockman wrote. He later announced he was quitting “based on today’s news.”
Following his exit, Mr Altman wrote on X: “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 Times also reported that Mr Altman and Mr Brockman have plans to launch a new startup in the wake of his ouster and are speaking to investors. Those plans have not been made public.