Emmett Shear, former CEO of Twitch, in a Bloomberg Television interview in San Francisco, California, U.S., Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2016.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
CNBC has confirmed that OpenAI is bringing in former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear to lead the artificial intelligence company, two days after Sam Altman's surprise ouster.
Shear's hiring is the latest in a chaotic weekend at one of the planet's most high-profile startups. The OpenAI board announced late Friday that it was take out Altman and temporarily replaced him with head of technology Mira Murat. Altman “has not been consistently candid in his communications with the board,” the post said.
The Information and Bloomberg both reported Shear's hiring earlier. The information was confirmed to CNBC by a person familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified because the discussions were confidential. An OpenAI spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Shortly after the board's announcement on Friday, a group of prominent investors including MicrosoftTiger Global, Thrive Capital and Sequoia Capital began working to reverse the move. None of these firms have board seats and were not aware of the board's decision.
OpenAI, which last month was in talks to sell employee shares to investors at a valuation of $86 billion, made headlines this year after launching its ChatGPT chatbot in late 2022. ChatGPT allows users to type simple text queries and receive intelligent responses that can lead to deeper conversations.
Altman has led the company since 2019, serving as both the high-flying company's top executive and the public face of AI research and product development.
Unlike most Silicon Valley startups, OpenAI was not structured like a typical corporation, with most of the capital controlled by the founders. Rather, it was part of a non-profit organization that started in 2015. The board oversees the nonprofit organization, which “acts as the overall governing body for all OpenAI activities,” according to a Friday blog post.
Shear stepped down as CEO of Twitch, the live streaming service he now owns Amazon, in March. Shear founded Justin.tv, the predecessor to Twitch, in 2007. He was also a part-time partner at startup accelerator Y Combinator, which Altman ran before joining OpenAI.
— CNBC's Ari Levy contributed to this report
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