Who is Emmett Shear? Know about Sam Altman’s former classmate taking over as OpenAI CEO

Emmett Shear, the former CEO of Twitch, has been named as the Interim CEO of OpenAI, replacing Sam Altman and Mira Murati. Know all about him.

| Updated on: Nov 20 2023, 13:41 IST
Emmett Shear
Emmett Shear, former classmate of ousted CEO Sam Altman, has been announced as the new Interim CEO of OpenAI. (John Coogan/X)
Emmett Shear
Emmett Shear, former classmate of ousted CEO Sam Altman, has been announced as the new Interim CEO of OpenAI. (John Coogan/X)

In yet another shocking turn of events, Sam Altman won't return to OpenAI after all. Since his dismissal on November 17, the OpenAI board has been under immense pressure from investors to get him back. Being the face of the company, several OpenAI employees also reportedly threatened a mass exodus if Altman wasn't restored as the CEO. While for a day or so, it looked like that may be actualizing as Interim CEO Mira Murati was planning to bring back both Altman as well as former President Greg Brockman, it isn't happening after all. Instead, OpenAI has announced that former Twitch CEO Emmett Shear will be taking up the reigns at the company as Interim CEO, replacing Mira Murati. But who is he?

Who is Emmett Shear?

Emmett Shear was born in Seattle, Washington in 1983. He attended the Evergreen School for Gifted Children following which he completed the Bachelor of Computer Science from Yale University in 2005. Along with his friend Justin Kan, Shear applied to the first class of Y Combinator, where he eventually built a calendar application called Kiko and sold it for almost $250,000 on eBay.

Interestingly, the ousted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman was part of the same class in 2005 and was even pictured with Shear in a viral group photo. Altman also served as the president of Y Combinator from 2014 to 2019.

Along with Kan, Shear then went on to co-found Justin.tv in 2007, a 24/7 broadcast of Kan's life, which was eventually shut down in 2014, but only after becoming one of the world's biggest live video platforms with nearly 30 million unique users monthly.

However, in between that, Justin.tv also began focusing on gaming content which became extremely popular. So, it was made into a separate platform which we now know as TwitchTV. Shear, along with his other co-founders, ran the platform until 2014 when it was purchased by Amazon for nearly $970,000. He still served as the CEO of Twitch from 2014 until March this year when he resigned.

Now, Emmett Shear has been named as the interim CEO of OpenAI, replacing his former classmate Sam Altman, and more recently Mira Murati.

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First Published Date: 20 Nov, 13:40 IST