It turns out that billionaire tech moguls aren’t that different from regular people when it comes to industry gossip.
When Sam Altman was ousted as OpenAI’s CEO in November, his Silicon Valley counterparts were busy speculating about why.
And they were doing so in a private WhatsApp group chat that comprised over 100 Silicon Valley CEOs, per The New York Times.
“Sam is out,” read one person’s message to the group chat on November 17, per The Times.
But no one seemed to know the real reason behind Altman’s firing. The Times reported that a flurry of messages ensued, including speculation about what Altman might have done to get the chop.
The WhatsApp group includes big names like Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Dropbox chief Drew Houston, per The Times.
Altman’s abrupt ouster saw the appointment of two interim CEOs before he was reinstated just days later.
What resulted in Altman’s removal as CEO remains unclear.
Earlier, when OpenAI’s board announced his firing, it said in a statement that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board” but didn’t give further details.
The company has since appointed lawyers from WilmerHale to “conduct an effective and timely review” of the events that led to Altman’s firing, per a November 29 statement from OpenAI chairman Bret Taylor.
Representatives for Zuckerberg and Houston did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Business Insider sent outside regular business hours.