Monday, June 24

Ousted OpenAI C.E.O. Makes Plans for New Artificial Intelligence Company

Sam Altman, the tech entrepreneur who was removed as chief executive of OpenAI on Friday by its board of directors, is in the process of pitching a new artificial intelligence start-up to investors, according to three people familiar with his plans.

Mr. Altman plans to launch the initiative with his longtime partner and co-founder Greg Brockman, OpenAI’s former president who stepped down in solidarity with Mr. Altman on Friday, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the plans for the new company are not yet public.

Details on the potential company are scarce, because Mr. Altman and Mr. Brockman are still working through what it will be. Plans could change quickly, as the pair are keeping a wide range of options open, the sources said.

OpenAI’s board of directors shocked the tech industry on Friday when it abruptly fired Mr. Altman from his position as chief executive. By Friday night, the two men were already working on their plans to pitch investors on their next venture. The Information first reported on their plans for a new initiative.

Mr. Altman could not be reached for comment. Mr. Brockman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. OpenAI declined to comment.

Mr. Altman and Mr. Brockman spent Friday evening sketching out the new company, said one of the sources, and they considered which OpenAI employees would join them. At least three other OpenAI employees have resigned over the last day, according to three people familiar with the matter who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about it.

Mr. Altman took a break to poke at OpenAI’s board on social media, with a joke threatening to start “going off,” or speaking candidly, about the situation.

Prominent tech investors have rushed to show their support for Mr. Altman and hinted that they would back his next venture.

Alfred Lin, an investor at Sequoia Capital, a firm that invested in OpenAI and Mr. Altman’s first start-up, Loopt, posted on X, formerly called Twitter, that he looked forward to “the next world-changing company” that Mr. Altman and Mr. Brockman would build. Eric Schmidt, former chief executive of Google, posted, “I can’t wait to see what he does next.”

OpenAI set off an A.I. boom late last year when it released ChatGPT, and Silicon Valley venture capital firms raced to invest in start-ups developing similar technologies.

Mr. Altman has pitched a number of ideas for new projects to investors and other outsiders in recent months. During a fund-raising trip last month where he met with potential investors from the Middle East, Mr. Altman spoke about A.I.-related projects, including a plan to develop custom chips for A.I. that would compete with Nvidia, according to four people familiar with his travel who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the matter.

He also spoke with Masayoshi Son, the chief executive and billionaire founder of the tech conglomerate SoftBank, about investing in an effort to build an A.I. device with Jony Ive, the former chief design officer at Apple.