SEC investigating whether OpenAI investors were misled
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Federal regulators are investigating whether OpenAI investors were misled in course of CEO Sam Altman’s shock ouster and quick return, according to a new report.  

The Securities and Exchange Commission sent a subpoena to the ChatGPT creator in December, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The SEC has been scrutinizing Altman’s communications and is also seeking internal records from current and former officials and directors at OpenAI, the outlet reported.

The investigation follows the former OpenAI board’s decision in November to fire Altman as CEO and oust him from the board. He returned as CEO days later after an employee and shareholder revolt. 

The board of the startup at the time said it ‘concluded that he was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities.’

Federal regulators are investigating whether OpenAI investors were misled in course of CEO Sam Altman's shock ouster and quick return, according to a new report

Federal regulators are investigating whether OpenAI investors were misled in course of CEO Sam Altman’s shock ouster and quick return, according to a new report

Ilya Sutskever led the failed board coup to out Altman, who returned days later following an employee and shareholder revolt

Ilya Sutskever led the failed board coup to out Altman, who returned days later following an employee and shareholder revolt

The Journal said some sources described the investigation as a predictable response to the former board’s claim in its November statement. 

The report added that the SEC has not pointed to any specific statement or communication by Altman that it has deemed misleading, citing one source.

Altman returned as CEO just days after his ouster, with OpenAI also unveiling a new initial board with former Salesforce co-CEO Bret Taylor as chair.

SEC officials in New York have asked that some senior OpenAI executives preserve internal documents as they conduct the investigation, the WSJ reported.

The SEC declined to comment on the possible investigation, while OpenAI and Microsoft did not immediately respond to requests for comment. 

The probe comes as Altman is reportedly in talks to raise up to $7 trillion for a chip venture of gargantuan scale. 

It would be a staggering and unprecedented sum in the history of venture capital, greater than the combined current market capitalizations of Apple and Microsoft , and more than the annual GDP of Japan or Germany.

The Securities and Exchange Commission sent a subpoena to the ChatGPT creator in December. SEC chair Gary Gensler is seen above

The Securities and Exchange Commission sent a subpoena to the ChatGPT creator in December. SEC chair Gary Gensler is seen above

Altman is reportedly looking to solve some of the biggest challenges faced by the rapidly-expanding AI sector — including a shortage of the expensive computer chips needed to power large-language models like OpenAI’s ChatGPT.

OpenAI has also recently completed a deal that values the Microsoft-backed startup at $80 billion or more, the New York Times reported earlier this month.

Meanwhile, OpenAI hit the $2 billion annualized revenue milestone in December, the Financial Times reported, citing two people with knowledge of the AI start-up’s finances.

OpenAI believes it can more than double this figure in 2025, based on strong interest from business customers seeking to use its technology to adopt generative AI tools in the workplace, the report said.

The company’s annualized revenue jumped up from $1.3 billion as of mid-October, the Information had reported previously, thanks to accelerating sales growth and its wildly successful ChatGPT product. 

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