Sam Altman Transfers Control of OpenAI Startup Fund to Ian Hathaway

Sam Altman Transfers Control of OpenAI Startup Fund to Ian Hathaway

OpenAI CEO Sam Altman has transferred formal control of the OpenAI Startup Fund to Ian Hathaway, according to new disclosures with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The move aims to clarify the fund's governance structure and address potential concerns related to Altman's previous role as the fund's named controller.

Launched in 2021, the OpenAI Startup Fund, was initially set up with Altman as its named controller. However, this arrangement was intended to be temporary, and Altman made no personal investment nor did he have any financial interest in the fund, a spokesperson explained. The fund's initial general partner (GP) structure has now been changed, with control moved over to Hathaway, who has been a partner at the fund since its inception. He has been instrumental in overseeing the fund's accelerator program and leading investments in various AI-focused companies.

The OpenAI Startup Fund has backed numerous AI startups, including Harvey, Cursor, and Ambience Healthcare. As of May 2023, the fund reported $175 million in total commitments, with Microsoft being one of its key investors. The fund's gross asset value has since grown to over $325 million, according to recent disclosures.

The unusual structure had raised concerns among former board members. However, OpenAI maintains that an independent investigation following Altman's brief ouster in November 2023 concluded that he had not engaged in any wrongdoing related to product safety or the company's finances.

As the company continues to navigate the complexities of AI innovation and commercialization, the reshuffling of its investment arm's leadership is a clear signal of its commitment to ethical governance and responsible stewardship. With Hathaway now at the helm,the fund will continue to support promising AI startups by offering discounts and early access to OpenAI's cutting-edge technology.

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