Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever leaves OpenAI six months after Altman ouster

CEO Altman: "OpenAI would not be what it is without him."

May 15, 2024 - 18:50
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Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever leaves OpenAI six months after Altman ouster
An image Illya Sutskever tweeted with this OpenAI resignation announcement. From left to right: New OpenAI Chief Scientist Jakub Pachocki, President Greg Brockman, Sutskever, CEO Sam Altman, and CTO Mira Murati.

Enlarge / An image Ilya Sutskever tweeted with this OpenAI resignation announcement. From left to right: New OpenAI Chief Scientist Jakub Pachocki, President Greg Brockman, Sutskever, CEO Sam Altman, and CTO Mira Murati. (credit: Ilya Sutskever / X)

On Tuesday evening, OpenAI Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever announced that he is leaving the company he co-founded, six months after he participated in the coup that temporarily ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman. Jan Leike, a fellow member of Sutskever's Superalignment team, is reportedly resigning with him.

"After almost a decade, I have made the decision to leave OpenAI," Sutskever tweeted. "The company’s trajectory has been nothing short of miraculous, and I’m confident that OpenAI will build AGI that is both safe and beneficial under the leadership of @sama, @gdb, @miramurati and now, under the excellent research leadership of @merettm. It was an honor and a privilege to have worked together, and I will miss everyone dearly."

Sutskever has been with the company since its founding in 2015 and is widely seen as one of the key engineers behind some of OpenAI's biggest technical breakthroughs. As a former OpenAI board member, he played a key role in the removal of Sam Altman as CEO in the shocking firing last November. While it later emerged that Altman's firing primarily stemmed from a power struggle with former board member Helen Toner, Sutskever sided with Toner and personally delivered the news to Altman that he was being fired on behalf of the board.

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