Sam Altman, Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey… All founders were ‘fired’

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Conflict over management policy and strategy… A common Silicon Valley CEO is fired.

The industry is in turmoil following the news that Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, known as the ‘father of ChatGPT’, was fired.

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However, cases where a founder is kicked out of the company are very common in American information technology (IT) companies. The founder and company management are dismissed due to conflict over the company’s management policy or strategy.

A representative example is the late Steve Jobs, founder of Apple. He had a conflict with the board of directors over salary issues, etc. At the time, the ‘Macintosh’ team, which worked up to 90 hours a week due to pressure from Jobs, was angry that there was another team that worked less than them and received a higher salary. Jobs promised to provide extra pay to the Macintosh team, but the team later expressed dissatisfaction as they were receiving lower salaries than the Macintosh team.

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In addition, Jobs continued to clash with John Scully, who had just joined Apple at the time, over the issue of merging the team. Jobs decided to kick Scully out of the company and proposed a vote to the board, but public opinion against him was already at an all-time low. Jobs, who lost the vote, was fired from the company he created and left Apple in 1985. He later founded Next, a company that produces high-performance computers, and was acquired by Apple, returning to the CEO position in 2000.

Jack Dorsey, the founder and first CEO of Twitter (now X), was also kicked out of the company. He was dismissed from the company he founded in 2008 due to his insincere work attitude. The reason was that he left work early to spend his leisure time, but at the time, Twitter was a small company that was incomparably small compared to now and was not making any profit.

Dorsey later returned to Twitter in 2015. After returning, he achieved his first surplus in the fourth quarter of 2017 through several policies, including restructuring by laying off 8% of his employees and donating his holdings to the company.

Meanwhile, OpenAI’s CEO Sam Altman was also reportedly dismissed due to a conflict with the board of directors. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported on the 19th (local time) that Altman’s dismissal was due to a power struggle with co-founder Ilya Sutskever and a conflict of opinion over the safety of artificial intelligence (AI).

Source: Donga

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