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OpenAI taps Sarah Friar as CFO

TOKYO (ANN/YOMIURI SHIMBUN) – OpenAI appointed Sarah Friar, former CEO of Nextdoor, as its first CFO, the company announced on Monday.

The artificial intelligence firm has also appointed Kevin Weil, who has previously worked at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, as chief product officer.

Friar earlier served as CFO at Square and is also a member of Walmart’s board. She has also previously worked at Goldman Sachs, McKinsey, and Salesforce.

“Sarah and Kevin bring a depth of experience that will enable OpenAI to scale our operations, set a strategy for the next phase of growth, and ensure that our teams have the resources they need to continue to thrive,” OpenAI CEO Sam Altman said in a statement on Monday.

The new appointments follow the departure of OpenAI co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever in May, who was replaced by Jakub Pachocki.

Pachocki has previously served as OpenAI’s director of research and led the development of GPT-4 and OpenAI Five.

Sarah Friar. PHOTO: ANN/YOMIURI SHIMBUN

Sutskever played a key role in Altman’s dramatic firing and rehiring in November last year. At the time, Sutskever was on the board of OpenAI and helped to orchestrate Altman’s firing.

Days later, he reversed course, signing onto an employee letter demanding Altman’s return and expressing regret for his “participation in the board’s actions.”

After Altman returned, Sutskever was removed from the board and his position at the company became unclear.

Andrej Karpathy, an artificial intelligence researcher and one of the founding members of OpenAI, left the company in February.

OpenAI in March said it was appointing new directors including Altman, Sue Desmond-Hellmann, a former CEO of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nicole Seligman, a former president of Sony Entertainment, and Fidji Simo, CEO of Instacart.

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