Sam Altman, who had been leading OpenAI as CEO since 2019, was sacked by the company’s board on Saturday after it claimed it “lost confidence in his ability to continue leading OpenAI”. Mr Altman is set to join Microsoft. Meanwhile, Twitch co-founder Emmett Shear was appointed as interim CEO of the AI firm.
However, Mr Altman is not the only CEO who has been fired from the company. Here is a list of high-profile founders ousted from their own companies.
In a post on X, formerly Twitter, the World of Statistics posted a list of founders who were fired from their companies in the past. The caption read, “Founders who were fired from their own businesses: Sam Altman, OpenAI, Steve Jobs, Apple, Jack Dorsey, Twitter, Noah Glass, Twitter, Travis Kalanick, Uber…”
See the post here:
Founders who were fired from their own businesses:
🇺🇸 Sam Altman, OpenAI
🇺🇸 Steve Jobs, Apple
🇺🇸 Jack Dorsey, Twitter
🇺🇸 Noah Glass, Twitter
🇺🇸 Travis Kalanick, Uber
🇺🇸 Andrew Mason, Groupon
🇺🇸 Jerry Yang, Yahoo
🇺🇸 David Neeleman, JetBlue
🇺🇸 Rob Kalin, Etsy
🇺🇸 Dov Charney,…
— World of Statistics (@stats_feed) November 18, 2023
In 1985, Steve Jobs, one of the co-founders of the tech giant Apple, was fired from the company following a clash with the board of directors. The grounds for his ousting were attributed to Jobs’ confrontational management style and perceived deficiencies in interpersonal skills.
Nevertheless, Steve Jobs made a triumphant return to Apple in 1997, assuming the role of CEO. During his second tenure, he propelled Apple to new heights, leading as the chief executive for the subsequent 14 years before eventually passing the leadership torch to Tim Cook.
Jack Dorsey, one of the co-founders of Twitter, was ousted from his position as CEO in 2008. The company’s board of directors deemed him unsuitable to lead the company due to several factors, including his inability to resolve a recurring outage issue that caused frequent service disruptions, the absence of a backup system for the entire Twitter network, and his penchant for leaving work early to pursue interests in fashion design and yoga.
However, Mr Dorsey was reinstated as CEO in 2015 and held the position for six years before resigning in 2021. Parag Agrawal took over as CEO following Mr Dorsey’s departure.
Uber’s CEO, Travis Kalanick, stepped down from his position in 2017. His resignation came just a week after he had taken an indefinite leave of absence. The company was embroiled in a major crisis in February when a former employee published a blog post alleging widespread gender discrimination and sexual harassment within the organization.
Yahoo Inc co-founder Jerry Yang stepped down in 2012, appeasing shareholders who had blasted the Internet pioneer for pursuing an ineffective personal vision and impeding investment deals that could have transformed the struggling company, Reuters reported.
Mr Yang’s abrupt departure comes two weeks after Yahoo appointed Scott Thompson as its new CEO, with a mandate to return the once-leading Internet portal to the heights it enjoyed in the 1990s.