In the weeks before his surprise firing, Altman had been working on fundraising for a new venture. The project is still under development and exOpenAI President Greg Brockman He will probably be a part of the team. After Altman's sudden firing, Brockman, previously chairman of the board, resigned.
Altman is planning a new startup
Sam Altman is in talks for a new chip venture, likely to be called Tigris, weeks before his surprise exit from OpenAI, sources told Fortune.
Altman was traveling to the Middle East to secure investment for the project. The goal of the venture was to create semiconductors that would compete with Nvidia, which is currently the dominant player in the artificial intelligence market. However, the chip company is not yet established and talks with investors are still very early.
Altman had a pitch for a startup aimed at building Tensor Processing Units (TPUs). These TPUs are semiconductors designed to handle specialized AI workloads. Altman's goal is to compete with Nvidia while helping OpenAI by lowering the costs of running its services like ChatGPT and Dall-E.
Microsoft and other OpenAI investors may fund Altman's new venture
Altman was also in discussions with SoftBank Group Corp, Saudi Arabia's public investment fund and Mubadala investment company, among others, to raise tens of billions of dollars for both Tigris and the AI-focused hardware it was developing, the sources said. With former Apple design chief Jony Ive.
Venture capitalist Vinod Khosla, who is one of OpenAI's investors, recently expressed his opinion about Sam Altman's departure from OpenAI on social media platform X. He stated that his investment firm wants Sam Altman to return to head the AI firm. However, if this does not happen, the firm will support him in his next venture.
According to sources, several prominent venture firms, including existing OpenAI investors, are ready to back Altman's new venture. Microsoft, which is OpenAI's largest investor, is also interested in backing Altman's chip venture.
After Altman's ouster came the resignation
OpenAI fired Sam Altman as CEO after an internal review found he had been consistently dishonest with the board. Altman and the board disagreed on AI safety, the pace of technology development and the company's commercialization. Altman's ambitions and side ventures added complexity to their relationship. COO Brad Lightcap said the decision was not related to financial, business, security or security/privacy issues, but to a breakdown in communication between Altman and the board.
Hours after his release, Altman posted a message on X expressing his love for the OpenAI team. Afterward, many OpenAI employees retweeted his message with heart emojis. According to multiple sources, this signaled the board would be leaving OpenAI to follow Altman into the new venture. One source said many people were there because of the now-retired president, Greg Brockman, and Sam.
A dozen OpenAI employees announced their resignations Sunday night, according to reports, following board director and chief scientist Ilya Sutzkever's announcement that fired CEO Sam Altman would not be returning and would be replaced by Shear. Word is that those employees may join Atlman and Brockman in their new venture. However, OpenAI's competitors like it GoogleThey have been actively trying to poach OpenAI employees for the past 48 hours.