ChatGPT creator OpenAI has fired its CEO Sam Altman from the company for “hindering the board’s ability to exercise its responsibility”, announced the AI startup on Friday.

The statement from the company said: “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The former executive has been replaced by the interim CEO Mira Murati until the company finds a permanent chief executive. Murati had been serving as the company’s chief technology officer up until now.

OpenAI said: “As the leader of the company’s research, product, and safety functions, Mira is exceptionally qualified to step into the role of the interim CEO. We have the utmost confidence in her ability to lead OpenAI during this transition period.”

Multiple sources revealed that OpenAI employees only found out about the firing once it was publicly announced. It also came as a shock to the company’s investors including Microsoft, reports have said.

The former CEO publicly commented through X (formerly Twitter), saying that his time at the company was transformative for him and the world a little bit. In a follow-up post, he said that it was a strange experience and almost like reading your eulogy while still alive.

OpenAI’s statement also mentioned that Greg Brockman, the co-founder and president, would step down from his role as chairman of the board but continue his association with the company. Shortly after the announcement, Brockman shared on X that he had resigned, citing “today’s news” as the reason.

He shared his message to the OpenAI team on X.

Subsequently, in a separate X post, Brockman conveyed that both he and Altman were informed of their board removal on Friday by Ilya Sutskever, OpenAI’s co-founder and chief scientist, who also holds a position on the board. “Sam and I are shocked and saddened by what the board did today,” Brockman said.

Needless to say, this has been an abrupt turn of events for everyone involved. Altman has been the public figure representing OpenAI, a role that gained prominence with the highly successful launch of ChatGPT last year, initiating the ongoing AI competition.

In a notable event just a week ago, Altman spearheaded the keynote at OpenAI’s inaugural DevDay conference. During this event, the company unveiled a significant set of updates, positioning itself in direct competition with major tech entities such as Google and others.