Sam Altman, the reinstated CEO of OpenAI, divulged the surreal experience of his abrupt termination from the AI firm he co-founded. Speaking on Trevor Noah’s “What Now?” podcast, Altman recounted receiving the news in a Las Vegas hotel during the Formula 1 Grand Prix, where the dismissal felt dreamlike and bewildering, dominated by confusion and chaos.

The deluge of messages that followed rendered his phone unusable, including inquiries from tech giants like Microsoft. Despite initial disbelief, Altman rallied, focusing on AGI advancement. Even amid offers to join elsewhere, returning to OpenAI wasn’t initially contemplated.

Returning to California, Altman remained supportive of OpenAI while grappling with the upheaval. Noah highlighted Altman’s dignified silence post-firing, acknowledging the toll it took. Altman likened the experience to an unexpected loss, drawing parallels to coping with his father’s sudden passing.

Expressing lingering shock, Altman stressed his commitment to AGI, family, and OpenAI. He likened the emotional aftermath to a process yet to fully unfold, hinting at forthcoming reflections.

Altman’s journey from dismissal to reinstatement echoes resilience amid unforeseen upheavals, emphasizing a personal narrative shaped by rapid change and steadfast dedication.