OpenAI's board made an unexpected announcement on Friday, removing CEO and co-founder Sam Altman from his position and appointing Mira Murati as the interim Chief Executive Officer.
While OpenAI is searching for a permanent CEO, Mira Murati will be in charge temporarily. The company acknowledges Altman's contributions but believes new leadership is needed for future progress.
Mira Murati: A New Leader at OpenAI
For years, Mira Murati has worked behind the scenes at OpenAI, overseeing the development and delivery of revolutionary products such as ChatGPT and DALL-E. Now she is stepping into the limelight as its interim CEO.
Murati, 34, was elevated to the top position at the high-profile company Friday when OpenAI's board of directors ousted Sam Altman, the company's co-founder and CEO. The company said that Murati had a "unique skill set" and would provide "a seamless transition while it conducts a formal search for the new CEO.
Born in Albania in 1988, Murati studied mechanical engineering at Dartmouth College, where she gained attention for building a hybrid race car. Her career includes internships at Goldman Sachs and Zodiac Aerospace, as well as significant contributions at Tesla and a startup called Leap Motion. Murati joined OpenAI in 2018 and became the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in the previous year.
Although she has carried the title of chief technology officer since last year, current and former employees said Murati had been functioning as the company's head of operations. She made sure that its engineers developed versions of ChatGPT on schedule. She also handled the company's relationship with Microsoft, an investor and partner who has deployed OpenAI's technology, and she helped shape its artificial intelligence policy in Washington and Europe.
OpenAI describes Murati as a crucial part of its leadership for five years, contributing to the company's growth as a global AI leader. Her experience in research, product, and safety functions makes her a suitable choice for the interim CEO role.
In a memo shared with Bloomberg, Murati expressed feeling honored and humbled by her new role. She sees OpenAI at a critical point, with tools becoming widely used and policymakers considering regulations. Murati views this as an opportunity to ensure AI is developed and used for positive purposes.
During a company meeting, Murati mentioned that Microsoft's CEO and CTO, Satya Nadella and Kevin Scott, expressed confidence in OpenAI's direction. She also confirmed the start of the search for a new CEO.
Founded in 2015, OpenAI began as a non-profit organization but changed its structure in 2019. The company remains a notable player in AI research and deployment.