OpenAI might eventually transition into a partially for-profit organization, while maintaining its core mission as a non-profit entity, according to the company.

Shareholders were informed by OpenAI CEO Sam Altman about plans to change the governance structure to a for-profit model, separate from the non-profit structure that the board of directors currently oversees. This information was disclosed by The Information.

This change could be a prelude to OpenAI going public, with Altman potentially becoming a stakeholder in the company, as suggested by some shareholders. This move would provide protection for the CEO and senior staff members from potential firing by the board. Altman has already begun addressing this issue by appointing new board members, but shareholders are seeking more assurance.

Also read: Investigation into OpenAI’s Sam Altman resignation closed

Non-profit remains core

OpenAI assures that there will be no significant changes to its mission. In a response to queries from Reuters, the company stated: “We remain committed to developing AI that benefits everyone. The non-profit aspect of our organization is fundamental to our mission and will continue.”

The company is exploring the idea of adopting a corporate structure similar to that of a for-profit benefit corporation, a model already utilized by Anthropic and xAI in the AI industry.

The right choice?

The corporate structure at OpenAI recently came under scrutiny following the voluntary departure of co-founder Ilya Sutskever and criticisms from former employees. Former board member Helen Toner highlighted negative aspects of the work environment established by Altman and her interactions with the CEO. While it is challenging to verify Toner’s claims, Sutskever’s unrelated departure raises concerns about internal issues within the company.

Also read: OpenAI board learned of ChatGPT launch through Twitter


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here