WhatsApp: How the secret WhatsApp group chat with more than 100 top CEOs missed ChatGPT maker OpenAI CEO Sam Altman’s sacking

It seems that almost everyone was in the dark about the firing of ChatGPT creator Sam Altman. The list includes the CEOs of some of the biggest technology companies in the US, including Facebook parent Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg and Dropbox’s Drew Houston. According to a report in the New York Times, when news broke of Altman’s firing on November 17, a text landed in this private WhatsApp group of more than 100 chief executives of Silicon Valley companies.
What the text in WhatsApp chat group says
“Sam is out,” the text says. Little doubt that the thread immediately blew up with questions: What did Sam do? The flurry of messages that ensued, largely focused on speculation about what Altman might have done to get the chop.
Urgent call to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
That same query was reportedly being asked at Microsoft, OpenAI‘s biggest investor. As Altman was being fired, Kevin Scott, Microsoft’s chief technology officer, was said to have received a call from Mira Murati, OpenAI’s chief technology officer. She reportedly told Scott that in a matter of minutes, OpenAI’s board would announce that it had sacked Altman and that she was the interim chief.
Scott is said to have immediately asked someone at Microsoft’s headquarters in Redmond to get Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella out of a meeting he was having with top executives. A shocked Nadella reportedly called Murati about the reasons behind OpenAI board’s decision. Murati is said to have really no answers. Nadella then called D’Angelo, OpenAI’s lead independent director asking what could Altman have done. Nadella is said to have looked for reasoning behind the board’s such abrupt actions?
Was there anything nefarious, he is said to have wondered and asked. “No,” D’Angelo reportedly replied, speaking in generalities.
On its part, OpenAI’s board only said that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications” with the board.