OpenAI's Decision: Firing Sam Altman Was Justified

OpenAI's Decision: Firing Sam Altman Was Justified

OpenAI Made the Right Call Letting Go of Sam Altman

Even though OpenAI has both nonprofit and for-profit sides, there's one board that controls both, giving priority to the nonprofit side. Recently, there was some drama at OpenAI, and Sam Altman, a board member, was let go quite easily due to a unique board structure crafted by OpenAI. The motive behind this structure justified Altman's firing.


  • OpenAI started as a nonprofit AI research company in 2015.
  • OpenAI LP, a capped-profit company, was established in 2019.

Board Structure

  • The board of directors sits at the top, overseeing both nonprofit and for-profit arms.
  • The unique hierarchy places the nonprofit wing above profit generation, limiting investor influence.

Altman's Removal

  • Altman's removal traced back to the nonprofit board's overarching authority.
  • The intricate board setup made Altman's removal a smooth process.
  • Lack of equity in the company limited Altman's power in critical decisions.

Challenges Faced

  • Absence of protective measures like dual-class share structures.
  • Unexpected rapid growth, especially after ChatGPT's launch, added to the company's challenges.

Lesson Learned

  • A weak board structure exposed vulnerabilities in the world's leading AI company.
  • The ousting of Altman serves as a costly lesson in corporate governance.

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