Sam Altman, the tech entrepreneur who was ousted as CEO of OpenAI on Friday by its board, is in the process of pitching a new artificial intelligence company to investors, according to three people familiar with his plans.
Altman plans to launch the initiative with his former partner and co-founder Greg Brockman, a former president of OpenAI who resigned in solidarity with Altman on Friday, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because plans for the new company are not yet public.
Details about the potential company are scarce, because Altman and Brockman are still working on what it will be. Plans could change quickly as the pair keeps a wide range of options open, sources said.
OpenAI’s board of directors surprised the tech industry on Friday when abruptly fired Mr. Altman from his position as CEO. By Friday night, the two men were already working on their plans to attract investors to their next venture. Information first reported about his plans for a new initiative.
Mr. Altman could not be reached for comment. Brockman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. OpenAI declined to comment.
Altman and Brockman spent Friday night outlining the new company, one of the sources said, and considered which OpenAI employees would join them. At least three other OpenAI employees resigned over the past day, according to three people familiar with the matter who asked to remain anonymous because they were not authorized to speak about it.
Mr. Altman took a break to Give a touch on the OpenAI board of directors on social media, with a joke that threatened to start “exploding” or speaking candidly about the situation.
Prominent technology investors were quick to show their support for Altman and hinted that they would back his next company.
Alfred Lin, an investor at Sequoia Capital, a firm that invested in OpenAI and Mr. Altman’s first startup, Loopt, posted on Mr. Brockman would build. Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google, posted: “Can’t wait to see what he does next.”
OpenAI sparked an AI boom late last year when it launched ChatGPT, and Silicon venture capital firms rushed to invest in startups developing similar technologies.
Altman has pitched a number of ideas for new projects to investors and other outsiders in recent months. During a fundraising trip last month where he met with potential investors from the Middle East, Altman discussed AI-related projects, including a plan to develop custom AI chips that would compete with Nvidia, according to four people familiar with his trip. who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak on the subject.
He also spoke with Masayoshi Son, CEO and billionaire founder of tech conglomerate SoftBank, about investing in an effort to build an artificial intelligence device with Jony Ive, Apple’s former design director.