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Former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has now joined Microsoft to continue his work in the field of artificial intelligence.

SUMMARY
  • Steve Jobs was ousted from Apple back in 1985, just a few years after starting the company
  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has announced that former OpenAI CEO Sam Altman will now work with Microsoft
  • Tesla CEO Elon Musk was fired from Paypal back in 2000 while he was on vacation in Australia

OpenAI, the ChatGPT-maker AI company recently forced its CEO Sam Altman out of the company stating that he was “not candid with his communication with the board members”. This has created mayhem across the entire tech industry worldwide. However, Altman joined Microsoft as lead to an AI research project just after a couple of days of being fired from OpenAI. He has managed to stay afloat and intends to continue working for artificial intelligence in the Satya Nadella-led company.

While this is a major chaos taking place in the tech world at the moment, this is not the first time a tech CEO has been ousted from his own company. Here are a few well-known tech leaders who were unceremoniously fired from their tech companies by board members.

Steve Jobs, Apple, 1985

Co-founder of Apple and one of the most popular tech leaders, Steve Jobs, was fired from his own company back in 1985, after less than 9 years of starting Apple. This was done due to a disagreement between him and Apple’s then-CEO John Sculley, a CEO whom Jobs himself referred. The Macintosh computer, one of the most popular devices of Apple, had witnessed poor sales which created tensions across the company. While Jobs believed that this was because they had priced the device quite high, Sculley thought that Jobs had wasted resources by spending money on expensive products.

The board sided with Sculley on this, which made Jobs furious. Later the rift between the CEO and co-founder Jobs came down to the board’s decision where they had to choose one as the leader of Apple. The board decided to fire Jobs but years later in 1997, Jobs returned to the company, this time as a CEO.

Elon Musk, PayPal, 2000

The tech billionaire Elon Musk was fired shortly from PayPal, a company that offered money transfer services after he was appointed as the CEO. This took place after he proposed that the company should diversify rather than stick to just one business. This was met with widespread friction from the board members. Because of the disagreements over the company’s direction and management style, Musk was sacked from the company while he was on vacation in Australia.

Musk was replaced by PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel in September 2000. Later, this gave Musk the motivation to build Tesla and SpaceX.

Jack Dorsey, Twitter, 2008  

Co-founder of Twitter, Jack Dorsey was removed from his position as the CEO back in 2008. As per a report by The Verge, the board saw Dorsey unfit to lead the company. He was unsuccessful in fixing the outage issue that caused the service to crash constantly. In addition to this, it was revealed that one of the reasons why he was ousted was because he used to leave work early to attend fashion design and yoga classes. Evan Williams, who co-founded Twitter reportedly stated, “You can either be a dressmaker or the CEO of Twitter. You can’t be both.”

However, he was back at the helm of Twitter in 2015 and remained there till 2021 after making Parag Agarwal the CEO.

Marissa Mayer, Yahoo, 2017

Marissa Mayer was appointed as the Yahoo CEO in 2012 but was then pressured into resigning from the position in 2017. The reason behind her exit was listed as slow growth and internal dissent that led to plummeting employee morale. A huge number of security breaches were also reported during her tenure at Yahoo that put the data of millions of customers at risk.

Travis Kalanick, Uber, 2019

Travis Kalanick, the founder and former chief executive of Uber, was forced to step down from his position in 2019. He was forced by the board members to resign after a series of privacy scandals and complaints of discrimination and sexual harassment.

Kalanick is currently the CEO of CloudKitchens, a ghost kitchen company.

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