Information about OpenAI’s new interim CEO, Emmett Shear, that you should be aware of.

OpenAI has recently appointed the previous head of Twitch as their temporary CEO, a mere few days following the departure of their renowned leader, Sam Altman. This has caused significant disruption in the field of artificial intelligence.

Emmett Shear revealed his recent position on Monday morning through a message on X, previously referred to as Twitter. He also recognized that the handling of Altman’s dismissal on Friday was poorly executed and led to a loss of trust in the company.

OpenAI announced the sudden termination of Altman, citing an internal evaluation that revealed he was not consistently transparent in his interactions with the board of directors. The company did not disclose further information, causing speculation among industry analysts and technology enthusiasts.

At the same time, Microsoft announced on Monday that it is appointing Altman and former OpenAI President Greg Brockman to head its newly formed advanced AI research team. This move comes after Microsoft’s significant investment in the AI company and Brockman’s resignation in objection to Altman’s removal.

At OpenAI, Shear has committed to providing more information about Altman’s departure. In his recent post, he stated that an outside investigator will be hired to examine the circumstances leading to Altman’s removal and produce a report within a month.

40-year-old Shear is one of the co-founders of Twitch, a social media platform owned by Amazon that is primarily focused on gaming.

In 2006, Twitch was created as a component of, a video streaming website founded by Shear and three other technology entrepreneurs. However, in 2011, the company shifted its focus towards gaming, leading to a surge in popularity and the emergence of many famous streamers. In 2014, Amazon acquired Twitch for approximately $970 million in cash.

Twitch receives less media coverage compared to other social media corporations, yet it has faced criticism in two separate occasions in recent years due to the livestreaming of mass shootings in Buffalo, New York and Germany.

Shear departed from the company in March, citing the arrival of his 9-month-old son as the reason.

Following his departure from Twitch, Shear joined Y Combinator as a visiting partner. Y Combinator, known for launching successful startups such as Airbnb, DoorDash, and Dropbox, is an incubator program. Altman and Shear have a shared history, having been alumni of the first class of startup founders at Y Combinator. Altman later went on to become Y Combinator’s president.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Shear has been involved in the creation, development, and management of businesses since his time in college and has no intention of stopping. He obtained a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Yale University in 2005.

OpenAI had initially named its chief technology officer, Mira Murati, as interim CEO on Friday. But she appeared to be one of the signatories on a letter that began circulating early Monday — and signed by hundreds of other OpenAI employees — calling for the board’s resignation and Altman’s return.

The Associated Press was not able to independently confirm that all of the signatures were from OpenAI employees. A spokesperson at OpenAI confirmed that the board has received the letter, which also said the board had replaced Murati, against the best interest of the company.

Shear shared in his X post that he was offered a unique chance to serve as the interim CEO at OpenAI, a company based in San Francisco. The board informed him of the situation and invited him to take on the role, to which he promptly agreed.

The reason I accepted this position is because I truly believe that OpenAI is one of the most significant companies in existence at the moment.

Shear stated that on Sunday, he dedicated most of his time to “absorbing as much information as possible,” as he spoke with the board, staff members, and a select group of OpenAI collaborators.

The investors are attempting to bring stability to the current situation. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, shared his thoughts in a post on X early Monday, expressing his enthusiasm for the addition of Altman and Brockman and expressing his interest in getting to know the new management team at OpenAI.

Shear previously held an internship at Microsoft, but based on a post he shared on X in July, it appears that he did not have a positive experience at the company. In reaction to a post from another X user stating, “the most terrible type of demon would be one that compensates you minimally for each piece of yourself you destroy,” Shear responded by saying, “During my internship at Microsoft, every paycheck felt like I was receiving payment for sacrificing a portion of my soul.”

Shear stated in his X post that he thoroughly examined the rationale behind the modifications at OpenAI prior to accepting the position.

The reason the board chose not to remove Sam was not related to any safety disagreement. According to him, their rationale was entirely unrelated.

“I would not be foolish enough to accept this job without the backing of the board for the monetization of our exceptional models,” he stated, alluding to the company’s in-demand AI resources such as ChatGPT and DALL-E, the image generator.

“I hold immense admiration for the accomplishments of Sam and the entire OpenAI team,” he stated. “Not only is it a remarkable research endeavor and software product, but also an exceptional company. I am here because I recognize that and am committed to safeguarding and advancing its success.”

Shear stated his goals for the next month, which include achieving three specific objectives.

Aside from enlisting a separate investigator who will produce a comprehensive report on the matter, Shear expressed his desire to further engage with those involved and revamp the management and leadership groups of the company in response to recent departures.

Following this, he stated that he would implement modifications within the company – and if needed, he would strongly advocate for substantial changes in governance.

He stated that the stability and success of OpenAI are crucial and should not be disrupted by turmoil like this.

During a June podcast, Shear expressed his overall positive outlook on technology, but also raised concerns about the development of artificial intelligence that surpasses human intelligence and poses potential threats. As an engineer, his strategy would involve gradually building AI systems on a smaller scale.

In June, Shear stated that if there is a world where we successfully survive and create an AI that surpasses human intelligence, it will be due to our development of smaller AIs and our dedication to addressing the issue with a large number of intelligent individuals.

On Monday, an X user inquired about Shear’s thoughts on AI safety, to which he responded: “It holds significance.”


This report includes contributions from Matt O’Brien, an AP reporter based in Providence, Rhode Island.