The tech world reacts in shock to Sam Altman's departure from OpenAI

  • Ex-CEO Sam Altman has left OpenAI — and the tech community is freaking out.

  • Tech leaders and workers are turning to X to express their shock and theories on why he left.

  • Mira Murati, once OpenAI's CTO, will step in as interim CEO of the company.

OpenAI just sent shockwaves through the tech industry by announcing that Sam Altman is out as CEO — and members of the tech community are freaking out.

The board of the AI company, which is behind ChatGPT, announced on Friday that it had lost confidence in Altman — who cofounded OpenAI in 2015 — to lead the company, citing that Altman was "not consistently candid in his communications."

In response to Altman's departure, members of the tech community are turning to X, formerly known as Twitter, to express their shock.

"WOW! I was not expecting this atomic level bomb news today," Pietro Schirano, who claims to be a founder of an AI startup, wrote on X.

"I didn't not see that coming," Matt Wolfe, who describes himself as a "builder" of an AI tools website, wrote on X. "I actually thought he was an excellent and balanced ambassador for the tech."

Some tech leaders are praising Altman for the impact he and his work had on them.

"Sam Altman is a hero of mine," Eric Schmidt, the tech investor and former CEO of Google, wrote on X. "He built a company from nothing to $90 Billion in value, and changed our collective world forever."

Other big voices in tech are speculating on why the board decided it no longer had confidence in Altman's ability to lead the company.

"Like everyone, I have no idea the reason the board had for firing @sama this way and so suddenly," tech journalist Kara Swisher wrote on X, speculating that the decision may've been personal or involve money.

Some techies are even reacting to Altman's departure in sheer disbelief.

"Is this April 1st already?" Subbarao Kambha, who describes themselves as an AI researcher at Arizona State University, wrote on X.

The announcement comes more than a week after the cofounder of OpenAI announced its latest, most powerful version of ChatGPT at the company's first developer conference.

Mira Murati, once OpenAI's CTO, will step in as OpenAI's interim CEO until the company finds someone to permanently fill the role.

OpenAI referred Insider to its announcement of Altman's departure when reached for comment.

Altman, for his part, isn't going into the details of his departure yet.

"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," he posted on X. "will have more to say about what's next later."

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