ChatGPT developer OpenAI fires CEO Sam Altman

Citing a lack of confidence, the board of OpenAI removed CEO Sam Altman (pictured testifying before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law for an oversight hearing to examine rules governing artificial intelligence in Washington in May) from his position Friday. File Photo by Jim Lo Scalzo/EPA-EFE

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- Citing a lack of confidence, the board of OpenAI removed CEO Sam Altman from his position 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 board no longer has confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI," the company's board said in a statement.

Altman, 38, oversaw development of the San Francisco tech company's ChatGPT platform, seen as a ground-breaking artificial intelligence program.

ChatGPT launched in early 2022, becoming an overnight sensation.

Chief Technology Officer Mira Murati will take over as interim CEO.

"The board remains fully committed to serving this mission. We are grateful for Sam's many contributions to the founding and growth of OpenAI. At the same time, we believe new leadership is necessary as we move forward," the board said in the statement.

The surprise move comes after "a deliberative review process."

Altman confirmed the departure on social media but did not elaborate.

"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," Altman wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

"[I] will have more to say about what's next later," he posted.

Altman has been a proponent of ethical use of artificial intelligence. He previously met President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris to lobby for responsible AI development.

Earlier this month, OpenAI released GPT-4, a new, more powerful model of its flagship chatbot product.

The development was assisted by billions in investment dollars from Microsoft.

Microsoft has invested over $10 billion in OpenAI over a period of years.