Samuel Harris Altman is an American entrepreneur and investor. He previously served as chief executive officer of OpenAI from 2019 to 2023 and as president of Y Combinator from 2014 to 2019. He now serves as a lead of an advanced AI research team at Microsoft.
OpenAI was initially funded by Altman, Greg Brockman, Elon Musk, Jessica Livingston, Peter Thiel, Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Infosys, and YC Research. When OpenAI launched in 2015, it had raised $1 billion.
In March 2019, Sam Altman left Y Combinator to focus full-time on OpenAI as CEO. By the summer of 2019, he had helped raise $1 billion from Microsoft.
Altman testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Privacy, Technology and the Law on 16 May 2023 about issues of AI oversight.
On November 17, 2023, OpenAI's board announced that it had made the decision to remove Altman as CEO. The board said that Altman "was not consistently candid in his communications." The Verge reported that a day after Altman was removed, the board was in discussion to bring him back. It has also been said that before Altman was removed, he was telling investors that he was planning to start a new company.
On November 20th 2023, Microsoft CEO Satya K Nadella announced that Altman will be joining Microsoft to lead a new advanced AI research team.