Former OpenAI Staff Levies Massive Criticisms of CEO Sam Altman

Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross Senior Writer
Tyler Cross Tyler Cross Senior Writer

Former OpenAI (the company behind ChatGPT) staff members allegedly released a letter heavily criticizing the company’s CEO Sam Altman and former Board chair Greg Brockman.

The letter’s goal was to pressure OpenAI into upholding its original promise to use AI for the betterment of all mankind in the wake of the company becoming increasingly more profit-seeking. It cites at least seven instances of the CEO’s dishonesty and manipulation.

However, that isn’t the beginning of the story. The letter follows a tumultuous time period for the business that originally saw the Board remove Altman from the company.

“(Sam was) not consistently candid in his communications, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities,” writes the board in its only filing on the subject.

This was met by an outcry of at least 500 employees who threatened to quit if Sam was fired. Microsoft immediately hired Altman. Afterward, a series of clever business maneuvers saw Altman reinstated as the CEO and the Board completely replaced by a new hand-picked Board.

It’s worth noting that the letter was originally leaked by Elon Musk, who received the letter through X.

“This letter about OpenAI was just sent to me,” he writes.

According to the letter, Altman and Brockman have created a hostile work environment in lieu of becoming increasingly determined to drive up company profit, including:

  • Using discriminatory language on an individual transitioning between genders, eventually the individual was fired.
  • Using a crushing atmosphere to silence criticisms of OpenAI’s ethics.
  • “Systematically silencing dissent,” and fostering a workforce of blindly loyal employees, most of whom are loyal out of the fear of repercussion.
  • Labeling anyone who questions decisions a “bad culture fit,” and eventually removing them.
  • Not fulfilling promises to make documents regarding OpenAI’s profit structure and the profit cap for each investor public.
  • Using IT teams and employees to conduct secret investigations, including on Board members.

The former employees wanted the interim CEO to investigate Sam’s actions since 2018, an unlikely event now that Sam has been reinstated and the Board has nearly completely changed.

About the Author
Tyler Cross
Tyler Cross
Senior Writer

About the Author

Tyler is a writer at SafetyDetectives with a passion for researching all things tech and cybersecurity. Prior to joining the SafetyDetectives team, he worked with cybersecurity products hands-on for more than five years, including password managers, antiviruses, and VPNs and learned everything about their use cases and function. When he isn't working as a "SafetyDetective", he enjoys studying history, researching investment opportunities, writing novels, and playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends."