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‘This Is Insane’: OpenAI Investors Blindsided By Sam Altman’s Firing

By Alex Konrad and Kenrick Cai

Prominent investors including Vinod Khosla and Reid Hoffman did not receive advanced notice that OpenAI’s board would push out its CEO and cofounder, sources told Forbes.

OpenAI’s ouster of CEO Sam Altman and the subsequent resignation of President Greg Brockman shocked the entire tech world — including OpenAI’s own investors.

Four sources with direct knowledge told Forbes that key venture capital backers of OpenAI were not given advanced warning of the news.

“This is insane,” an investor familiar with the matter said.

A source close to Vinod Khosla said he did not know about the ouster prior to the announcement; Khosla declined to comment. His firm Khosla Ventures invested in OpenAI in 2019.

Reid Hoffman, an early investor who previously sat on OpenAI’s board of directors, was also not made aware of the news, per a source. Hoffman declined to comment through a spokesperson.

Microsoft, which has invested more than $10 billion into OpenAI, learned of Altman’s firing and dismissal from the board only one minute before the news was shared in a press release, according to an Axios report.

Thrive Capital — which conducted a tender offer to purchase employee shares in April and was in talks to buy more at a $80 billion valuation last month, according to The Information — did not respond to a request for comment…


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