Emmett Shear, the recently appointed CEO of OpenAI, has stirred controversy with a history of social media posts covering topics such as women’s ‘rape fantasies,’ kinky sex, and Nazis.
Shear took on the role after the dismissal of Sam Altman, the former CEO, who allegedly neglected AI’s potential dangers. The abrupt switch has sparked debate among OpenAI employees, with some questioning the decision and advocating for Altman’s return.
Questionable Posts and Unconventional Views
Shear’s posts on X, a platform he frequented, have been a cause for concern. In one instance, he expressed a preference for ‘literal Nazis taking over the world forever’ over uncertain outcomes.
Additionally, Shear made tweets regarding sex and rape, defending the idea that 40-60% of women have ‘rape fantasies.’ These posts have raised eyebrows within the company and the wider tech community.
Unconventional Opinions on CEO Roles and Corporate Practices
Shear’s social media activity extends to unconventional views on corporate matters. He suggested that most CEO jobs are highly automatable, and CEOs could be replaced for many executive tasks.
Furthermore, he has criticized Microsoft, where Altman found employment after leaving OpenAI, describing his internship there as feeling like he was losing a part of his soul with every paycheck.
Potential Employee Revolt and Investor Pressure
Given Altman’s popularity among employees, there is growing concern about a potential employee revolt at OpenAI. Some fear that workers might leave for Altman’s hypothetical AI venture, and influential investors are pressuring the company to reconsider the leadership change. Shear faces the challenge of maintaining employee morale and investor confidence.
Emmett Shear’s Background and Career
Born in 1983, Shear grew up in Seattle and co-founded his first company with Justin Kan during their pre-teen years. After attending Yale University and selling their calendar app, Kiko, the duo founded Justin.tv, which eventually evolved into Twitch.tv.
Shear became the CEO of Twitch, overseeing its success until Amazon’s acquisition in 2014. With a reported net worth between $100 million and $500 million, Shear left Twitch in March 2023 and joined Y Combinator as a part-time contributor.
The Future of OpenAI Under Shear’s Leadership
Shear’s appointment as CEO raises questions about the future direction of OpenAI, especially given his unconventional views and controversial social media history. The tech industry and OpenAI stakeholders closely watch developments to see how Shear navigates the challenges ahead.