🎉 DEEP DIVE: WTF is going on at OpenAI

In partnership with

Office Party Logo

Today’s edition is brought to you by Icnogni. Safeguarding your data shouldn’t take up your spare time. Leave it to Incogni — Our readers get 60% off the Incogni annual plan at this link with code PRIVACY.

Read time: 5 minutes

Good Afternoon Party People! 🎉

Man oh man do we have a Party for you all today. Trouble in paradise.

BTW - No Party this Thursday. See all of you Party People next week! 🦃



Data brokers play a shady game — harvesting your personal data online, and selling it to the highest bidder. No informed consent required.

In fact, every time you accept cookies or download an app from a bad actor, your data could be at risk. Opting out is possible of course — but made difficult by design.

It’d take the average person 304 hours to manually complete all the data removal requests needed to secure their privacy. That’s why the VPN specialists at Surfshark created Incogni: The data removal service that takes care of wiping your personal info from hundreds of databases, reducing the threat of robocalls, scams, and fraud.

Safeguarding your data shouldn’t take up your spare time. Leave it to Incogni — Our readers get 60% off the Incogni annual plan at this link with code PRIVACY.

WTF is Going on at OpenAI?!

Drama, drama, and more drama.

We’re sure you all know of OpenAI — the creators of ChatGPT…well, former creators of ChatGPT.

On Friday, OpenAI’s founder and CEO, Sam Altman was ousted by the company’s board (no one is safe in 2023). Altman was allegedly invited to join a Google Meet in which he was informed of his demise via a decision from the board. OpenAI has a board of directors consisting of 6 people, including Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever.

The rationale behind the decision to can Altman was quite vague. In a company article, OpenAI’s board said the reason for the decision was that Altman had not been “consistently candid in his communications with the board” (you can read the article here).

This decision was met with major backlash from inside and outside the company. Co-founder and board chair Greg Brockman quit immediately following the news. CTO Mira Murati was named Interim CEO.

So what actually happened?!

Calls For Speculation

What’s the internet without a few conspiracy theories and some speculation?!

There certainly wasn’t a shortage of either when the OpenAI news broke. Many people believe that OpenAI achieved AGI, or true artificial general intelligence (the human-like AI you see in sci-fi movies). Champions of this idea believe that Altman was removed due to safety concerns about the technology.

Others believe Altman did something wildly unethical which led to his immediate dismissal.

The third, and seemingly most likely scenario given the current information available, is that a coup, driven by a hunger for power and control, was staged.

An Outpouring of Support

People were quick to show support for Altman, and many believe he’s the right person to lead OpenAI. Tech founders, investors, and CEOs were very outspoken about Altman not only being a good entrepreneur but also a great person.

Side note on Altman:

Sam Altman previously founded and sold Loopt, was Interim CEO of Reddit for 8 days, and was also the President of renowned startup accelerator, Y Combinator.

Emergency Board Meeting

What happened next is what really made things spicy. Microsoft, OpenAI’s biggest investor (owning 49%), put pressure on OpenAI’s board to rehire Altman as the CEO, according to WSJ. However, like a salty ex, Altman said he would only return if there was a complete overhaul of the current board.

There have also been rumors of mass resignations in support of Sam Altman. Many employees tweeted support for the former CEO, and even the interim CEO, Mira Murati advocated to rehire Sam and Greg.

The way only 4 people were able to out the two co-founders of the company has to do with OpenAI’s odd structure. The business was originally set up as a 501(c)3 non-profit. From an original filing in 2016, the company’s purpose is to “advance digital intelligence in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole, unconstrained by a need to generate financial return.” Later, Altman formed OpenAI Global LLC, a capped profit company, which is the entity Microsoft owns 49% of.

An emergency board meeting took place on Sunday. Initially, it sounded like there was a chance OpenAI would reinstate Altman before an imposed deadline.

There’s a New Sheriff in Town

In the end, the board decided to ignore requests from investors and employees and hired former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear. According to reports, Microsoft was “not pleased” with this decision. However, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella expressed support for Emmet Shear in a tweet and said they look forward to a continued relationship with OpenAI.

Microsoft Laughs Maniacally

Despite Microsoft being vocal about reinstating Altman as CEO, they’ve made out like bandits. Microsoft owns 49% of OpenAI, but they’re also planning on bringing on Sam Altman as CEO of MicrosoftAI. They also plan to bring on co-founder Greg Brockman.

For pennies on the dollar, Microsoft owns a large share of OpenAI, AND have the founders now working directly on Microsoft’s AI products.

The best of both worlds.

Poof Goes The Equity

With Altman and Brockman leaving the company, many believe that OpenAI’s valuation will plummet drastically. OpenAI was set to have a secondary, where employees could sell shares (at an estimated $90B valuation), which would have made many employees millionaires.

This will go down as a Hall of Fame-level bag fumble by Ilya Sutskever and the rest of the board at OpenAI. Monday Morning, Sutskever tweeted a half-ass apology somewhat taking responsibility and saying he regrets his participation in the board’s actions.

Because their leader was ousted, and because the value of their equity has diminished, many employees are planning on leaving…

Mass Exodus

By Monday morning, more than 550 out of OpenAI’s 700 employees had signed a letter saying they might quit and follow Altman to Microsoft unless the board resigns. Microsoft hasn’t addressed the situation directly but has said they look forward to providing Altman with the resources needed for success.

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff also sent out a tweet, implying that he wanted to hire a bunch of OpenAI ex-employees.

Legendary response from OpenAI staff member, Steven Heidel.

Fate Loves Irony

Many people fear that AI will replace millions of jobs. But so far, AI has only come after its creator (insert cntrl, Altman, delete joke).

Tune into the next episode of SuccessAIn to see what happens next…


Advertise with The Office Party and promote your company to decision-makers at top companies. Get in touch.



What do you think of today's party?

Login or Subscribe to participate in polls.