Tech Veteran Emmett Shear Takes the Helm at OpenAI"

Posted by Jalal Bazari on November 20, 2023 at 5:37 PM
Jalal Bazari

Emmett Shear, the tech veteran behind Twitch's success, has stepped into the spotlight as the new leader of OpenAI. In a surprise move, he accepted the role after a swift decision, leaving his role as a stay-at-home dad. As the battle for the future of AI unfolds, Shear faces challenges from disgruntled employees and questions about the technology's impact on humanity.


Emmett Shear, renowned for building Twitch into an Amazon-owned streaming giant, brings his technological expertise to the forefront at OpenAI. Recognizing the importance of a cautious approach to AI, Shear's past statements reveal his concerns about the rapid advancement of artificial intelligence. His advocacy for a more measured pace aligns with OpenAI's current challenges.

Challenges and Controversies:

Shear steps into the role amid controversies surrounding Sam Altman's departure and a potential staff revolt. Around 500 out of 770 OpenAI employees threaten to quit unless Altman is reinstated, creating a volatile environment. Despite this, Shear's recognition of AI threats and his commitment to sustainability make him a strategic choice for OpenAI's leadership.

Collaboration with Microsoft:

As OpenAI's largest supporter and owner of nearly half the startup, Microsoft plays a crucial role in the company's future. Despite being unable to prevent Altman's departure due to OpenAI's unique governance, Microsoft remains committed to its partnership. Shear's collaboration with Microsoft is expected to influence OpenAI's trajectory in the evolving landscape.

Shear's Technological Journey:

Starting with in 2007 and later pivoting to Twitch, Shear's journey has been marked by success and challenges. The sale of Twitch to Amazon in 2014 for $1 billion solidified its status in the creator economy, revolutionizing how viewers monetize their time. Shear's focus on the quantitative aspects of Twitch, coupled with his ties to effective altruism, adds depth to his leadership profile.

Looking Ahead:

In his post on X, Shear outlines his plan for the first month at OpenAI, emphasizing the need for reform and an independent investigation into Altman's departure. He reassures the community of OpenAI's commitment to a commercial vision and acknowledges the board's support for the company's transformative models.


Emmett Shear's entry into OpenAI signifies a pivotal moment for the organization. As the tech veteran takes charge, navigating internal challenges and steering OpenAI towards a sustainable and commercially viable future will undoubtedly shape the trajectory of AI development.


Topics: AI

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