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OpenAI’s board has selected Emmett Shear, co-founder of video streaming service Twitch, as its interim chief executive in an unexpected move which is likely to deepen rifts at the company exposed by the sacking of co-founder Sam Altman on Friday, according to two people briefed on the matter.
Shear is the second interim appointment in three days, after the board initially replaced Altman with chief technology officer Mira Murati on Friday afternoon, a decision which plunged the leading generative artificial intelligence company into crisis.
Over the weekend, OpenAI’s leading investors and dozens of employees rallied to Altman’s side in an effort to reinstate him as chief executive. On Sunday afternoon, their attempts looked likely to succeed when Altman made a dramatic return to the company office. Brandishing a guest pass as he arrived, the former boss posted to X: “first and last time I ever wear one of these”.
But in a message to staff late on Sunday night, co-founder Ilya Sutskever, who remains on the board, announced Shear’s appointment, dashing hopes of a speedy return for Altman and raising further questions about the company’s future.