Bye Gentlemen Clubs, Hello WhatsApp Group Chat 

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There’s one thing we now know about our favorite tech CEOs: they are in WhatsApp group chats just like the rest of us.

  • The board expressed apprehensions about OpenAI’s strategic shifts, fearing a compromise on the company’s mission to ensure AI benefits humanity.
  • Over 100 influential Silicon Valley CEOs, including Mark Zuckerberg, learned about Altman’s firing through a WhatsApp group, sparking speculation and gossip among the tech elite.

The mess involving OpenAI and Sam Altman exposed a WhatsApp group Chat in which over 100 Silicon Valley CEOs communicate.

Let’s have a recap of the whole mess, shall we?

So, on November 17, the whole world gets a shock as we find out that Sam Altman has been fired. Yes, they fired the poster child of artificial intelligence. They also did it over a video call. Here I thought getting broken up with over text was brutal, but getting fired over video call… yeah, that might take the cake.

All the board had to say for itself was that Altman “was not consistently candid in his communications with the board, hindering its ability to exercise its responsibilities,” according to their statement at the time. I know a non-committal answer when I see one.

Apparently, the strategic shifts that the company went through (i.e., the creation of a for-profit subsidiary and the HUGE investment from Microsoft) had the board members apprehensive. The members felt as if the true mission of the company, which is to make sure AI benefits humanity as a whole, is compromised and that Altman charged ahead without satisfactory caution.

Now, after weeks of back-and-forth, Sam has taken his rightful place at the helm of OpenAI and Microsoft gained a non-voting seat in the board room.

Through it all, however, influential Silicon Valley CEOs had Altman’s back. It turns out that over 100 of these titans, including Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, are a member of a WhatsApp group chat. And that’s how they got the news. A simple text read “Sam is out.” Nobody knew why, not even Altman himself.

It’s honestly quite refreshing to see them acting like humans for once. Gossiping and speculating about their friend’s situation. And it’s admirable how many of them stood by him.

Here’s what I learned from all of this:

  1. Sam Altman is a vegetarian who raises cattle. That’s either an oxymoron or just plain old irony.
  2. Nobody is safe from unfair decisions, not even the Apple of Silicon Valley’s eye.
  3. Tech moguls gossip, which is mind-boggling, to be honest. Can you imagine Elon Musk sitting there spilling the tea to the boys? Actually, I can. He already does that on X. How about Stoic Zuck? That’d be a sight.
  4. Everything happens for a reason, even if that reason is unclear for now.
  5. Finally, board members need a crash course in marketing because who in their right mind fires the face of not only the company but also a whole sector?

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