Open AI CEO Under Scrutiny By US Regulators Over Investments

Sam Altman (Credits: OpenAI)

According to reports, US regulators are conducting an investigation into internal communications involving Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, as part of a probe into potential investor deception within the technology firm.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has reportedly initiated scrutiny of emails and internal documentation involving directors and officials of OpenAI, the developer of ChatGPT, subsequent to issuing a subpoena in December. This information was disclosed by the Wall Street Journal (WSJ).

The decision to launch the investigation follows Altman’s removal as CEO of the San Francisco-based company in November. The board cited concerns about his communication transparency and expressed a lack of confidence in his leadership abilities.

OpenAI Logo (Credits: OpenAI)

However, Altman was reinstated to his position less than a week later, accompanied by a board overhaul, after the company’s 750-strong workforce threatened mass resignation unless he was reinstated.

Sources familiar with the SEC inquiry, cited in the WSJ report, suggest that the investigation was prompted by remarks made by the board during Altman’s initial dismissal. Notably, the SEC has not identified any specific statements or communications by Altman deemed potentially misleading.

While OpenAI’s ChatGPT product, launched in November 2022, has garnered global acclaim, propelling the company’s recent valuation to $80 billion, it faces multiple regulatory investigations into its operations.

Sam Altman (Credits: Open AI)

In January, the US Federal Trade Commission announced an investigation into OpenAI and other tech giants, including Amazon and Alphabet, regarding their AI investments and potential effects on industry competition.

Furthermore, the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority disclosed in December its intention to scrutinize the partnership between OpenAI and Microsoft, its principal investor.

Both OpenAI and Microsoft have been contacted for comment by The Guardian.

Nate O'Hara
Nathan is a seasoned commerce writer with a passion for unraveling the intricacies of the business world and distilling them into engaging narratives. During his academic journey, he delved deep into subjects like economics, marketing, and entrepreneurship, honing his analytical skills and developing a keen understanding of market dynamics.