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In firing Altman, OpenAI’s board wanted to keep the element of surprise

Illustration: The Verge

We still don’t know the whole story around the conflict between OpenAI CEO Sam Altman and the company’s board, but more and more is leaking out. A new report, from The New Yorker, alleges that OpenAI’s old board deliberately excluded Microsoft after initially voting to expel Sam Altman as CEO, and they actually believed the company would back them.

In the sprawling story, New Yorker reported Microsoft executives were blindsided by the decision to oust Sam Altman, possibly to prevent Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella from warning Altman what was about to happen.

Altman has a reputation for being a shrewd business person, and part of the decision not to inform Microsoft was to ensure that he would be surprised.

When OpenAI announced Altman’s…

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