📺 Stream EntrepreneurTV for Free 📺

OpenAI Chief Scientist and Cofounder Ilya Sutskever Leaves AI Giant for Personal Project Sutskever co-led the superalignment team at OpenAI, which ensures that AI follows what humans want it to do even as it gets smarter.

By Sherin Shibu

Key Takeaways

  • OpenAI chief scientist and co-founder Ilya Sutskever is leaving the AI company after nearly a decade.
  • Sutskever's co-lead on a critical OpenAI project also resigned on Tuesday.
  • Sutskever reportedly hasn't been seen in the office since the November.
entrepreneur daily

Six months after helping lead an attempt to oust OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, then changing his mind, OpenAI chief scientist and co-founder Ilya Sutskever is officially leaving the AI giant. His co-lead on a critical OpenAI project also abruptly resigned Tuesday night.

Sutskever took to X on Tuesday evening to state that he was departing the company he helped create after nearly a decade. He said he was "confident" that OpenAI would build "safe and beneficial" AI under CEO Sam Altman's leadership and posted a picture showing him next to Altman and other OpenAI leaders.

"Safe and beneficial" AI was what Sutskever helped oversee. Sutskever co-led the superalignment team at OpenAI, which ensures that AI follows what humans want it to do, even as its capabilities expand.

"Currently, we don't have a solution for steering or controlling a potentially superintelligent AI, and preventing it from going rogue," OpenAI wrote in a July 2023 post introducing the superalignment team, adding later: "We need new scientific and technical breakthroughs."

Related: OpenAI Demos Voice Engine, But Not Ready for Wide Release

Jan Leike, who co-led the superalignment team with Sutskever, posted "I resigned" within hours following Sutskever's departure post on X.

Business Insider reports that other members of the superalignment team have also left OpenAI in recent months.

In November, Sutskever and other board members attempted to fire Altman after concluding that Altman "was not consistently candid in his communications" with them, but backtracked within days after investor and employee backlash. Sutskever was the one to tell Altman that he was being fired.

Sutskever hasn't been seen in the office since the November shake-up, per The New York Times.

Related: OpenAI Develops Custom 1930s AI Bot For Met Gala Exhibition

Jakub Pachocki, previously OpenAI's director of research, will take over as chief scientist. Pachocki was one of three senior OpenAI researchers to resign a day after Altman's dismissal in November, and return after Altman returned.

He and Altman had nothing but praise for Sutskever's work.

Sutskever said that he was "excited for what comes next — a project that is very personally meaningful to me about which I will share details in due time."

OpenAI launched a new AI model on Monday with advanced tools for free users.

Related: OpenAI's Launches New AI Chatbot, GPT-4o

Sherin Shibu

Entrepreneur Staff

News Reporter

Sherin Shibu is a business news reporter at Entrepreneur.com. She previously worked for PCMag, Business Insider, The Messenger, and ZDNET as a reporter and copyeditor. Her areas of coverage encompass tech, business, strategy, finance, and even space. She is a Columbia University graduate.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

Starting a Business

I Wish I Knew These Four Things Before Starting My Own Business

Starting a business is hard work to say the least. These are four lessons I wish someone had shared with me before going solo, so I'm here to share them with you.

Social Media

How To Start a Youtube Channel: Step-by-Step Guide

YouTube can be a valuable way to grow your audience. If you're ready to create content, read more about starting a business YouTube Channel.


Add Some Life to the Office with $60 off This Bluetooth Speaker

This TREBLAB speaker provides 360-degree HD sound and high-powered connectivity.

Business Ideas

63 Small Business Ideas to Start in 2024

We put together a list of the best, most profitable small business ideas for entrepreneurs to pursue in 2024.

Business Solutions

Organize Your Podcasts and Audio Content with This $40 Plan

Player FM lets you organize and sync podcasts across different platforms in one place.

Thought Leaders

Need More Confidence? These 10 Bestselling Books Will Help Improve Your Self-Esteem

Self-esteem can be hard to come by and even harder to maintain. To give yourself a boost, try these authors' words of wisdom.