Sam Altman Interview on being fired and rehired by OpenAI

Roger Stringer Roger Stringer
December 01, 2023
2 min read

Alex Heath, for The Verge:

When OpenAI’s board asked Sam Altman to return a day after they fired him, he initially felt defiant, hurt, and angry.

“It took me a few minutes to snap out of it and get over the ego and emotions to then be like, ‘Yeah, of course I want to do that,’” he told me by phone on Wednesday. “Obviously, I really loved the company and had poured my life force into this for the last four and a half years full time, but really longer than that with most of my time. And we’re making such great progress on the mission that I care so much about, the mission of safe and beneficial AGI.”

After an attempted boardroom coup that lasted five days, Altman officially returned as CEO of OpenAI on Wednesday. The company’s biggest investor, Microsoft, is planning to take a nonvoting board seat as well.


I learned that the company can truly function without me, and that’s a very nice thing. I’m very happy to be back, don’t get me wrong on that. But I come back without any of the stress of, “Oh man, I got to do this, or the company needs me or whatever.” I selfishly feel good because either I picked great leaders or I mentored them well. It’s very nice to feel like the company will be totally fine without me, and the team is ready and has leveled up.

The interview is an interesting read, Sam doesn't get into too much about what happened overall, for obvious reasons, but the interview is still an interesting read.

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