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OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever, who voted to remove Altman, quits, CEO Sam Altman reacts...

Jaya Vishwakarma
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Ilya Sutskever and CEO Sam Altman

Ilya Sutskever and CEO Sam Altman

Russian-born OpenAI co-founder and Chief Scientist Ilya Sutskever is officially leaving the AI giant after nearly a decade.Research Director Jakub Pachocki will replace him.

Notably, Sutskever was one of the four board members who voted last November to remove another co-founder and CEO, Sam Altman, from the company.

However, the decision plunged the AI startup into turmoil, leading the OpenAI board to rehire Altman a few days later after staff and investors rebelled. Although Sutskever's position on the board was not renewed, he remained in his role at OpenAI.

At that time, Sutskever issued a public apology for his role, stating, "I deeply regret my participation in the board’s actions. I never intended to harm OpenAI. I love everything we’ve built together, and I will do everything I can to reunite the company."


Prior to OpenAI, Sutskever worked at Google as a Research Scientist and also co-founded DNNResearch. 

Ilya Sutskever announces his departure

Ilya Sutskever took to X (formerly Twitter) to announce his departure. He also shared a picture of himself with other OpenAI leaders, including CEO Sam Altman, CTO Mira Murati, President Greg Brockman.

"After almost a decade, I have made the decision to leave OpenAI.  The company’s trajectory has been nothing short of miraculous, and I’m confident that OpenAI will build AGI that is both safe and beneficial under the leadership of @sama , @gdb , @miramurati and now, under the excellent research leadership of @merettm," Sutskever wrote.

"It was an honor and a privilege to have worked together, and I will miss everyone dearly.   So long, and thanks for everything.  I am excited for what comes next — a project that is very personally meaningful to me about which I will share details in due time," Sutskever added.

Sam Altman reacts to Sutskever's departure

In response to Sutskever's decision, CEO Sam Altman took to X and wrote, "This is very sad to me; Ilya is easily one of the greatest minds of our generation, a guiding light of our field, and a dear friend. His brilliance and vision are well known; his warmth and compassion are less well known but no less important."

Altman acknowledged Sutskever's role in building OpenAI, stating "OpenAI would not be what it is without him. Although he has something personally meaningful he is going to go work on, I am forever grateful for what he did here and committed to finishing the mission we started together".

"I am happy that for so long I got to be close to such genuinely remarkable genius, and someone so focused on getting to the best future for humanity. Jakub is going to be our new Chief Scientist. Jakub is also easily one of the greatest minds of our generation; I am thrilled he is taking the baton here."

"He has run many of our most important projects, and I am very confident he will lead us to make rapid and safe progress towards our mission of ensuring that AGI benefits everyone," Altman added.