LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman leaves OpenAI’s Board of Directors
LinkedIn co-founder and OpenAI’s long-time backer, Reid Hoffman, is stepping back from the company’s board of directors. In a Linked post on Friday, Hoffman said he’s leaving the OpenAI board to avoid conflicts of interest with other artificial intelligence (AI) startup companies he’s investing in.
“With all the possibilities ahead, it’s important to think beyond any one application, company, industry when it comes to AI, because I believe its impact will be on a much greater magnitude. It’s with that in mind, that I’ve decided to step back from the OpenAI board. I made this decision after months of conversations with Sam, Greylock colleagues, and friends,” Hoffman said in a LinkedIn post.
“By stepping off the board, I can proactively put to rest any downstream potential issues for both OpenAI and all Greylock portfolio companies I’ve backed,” Hoffman added, further noting OpenAI has avoided conflicts to date.
“To be clear, since the start, OpenAI and its board has been very careful to monitor and avoid any conflicts to date. But by stepping off the board, I can proactively put to rest any downstream potential issues for both OpenAI and all Greylock portfolio companies I’ve backed.”
At the same time, Hoffman also asserted that he remained an ally of OpenAI and wanted to play a major role in “elevating humanity” through technology including cross-industry partnerships if desired.
“Zooming out, I believe that AI has a major role in benefiting humankind. As an investor, but also as a humanist, I want my participation in anything AI to support that goal of elevating humanity.”
“I remain an ally to OpenAI and on call for anything that I can do to help the organization and its mission of beneficial AI for humanity,” Hoffman concluded.
Since 2015, Hoffman has invested in startup companies including Tome and Coda, an all-in-one doc for teams that will use APIs from OpenAI, the creator of chatbot sensation ChatGPT. In addition to these two startups. Hoffman also co-founded Inflection AI with DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and former DeepMind researcher Karén Simonyan. Inflection AI is one of the highest-profile startups working on generative AI technology similar to OpenAI. We wrote about Inflection AI a year ago.
Inflection AI is also the first company Suleyman has co-founded since he sold DeepMind to Google in 2014 for around $600 million. In a statement, Suleyman said, “Reid and I are excited to announce that we are co-founding a new company, Inflection AI.” He added, “Inflection will be an AI-first consumer products company, incubated at Greylock, with all the advantages and expertise that come from being part of one of the most storied venture capital firms in the world.”
Hoffman founded LinkedIn in December 2002 with the founding team members from PayPal and Socialnet.com. In 2016, Reid Hoffman sold his company to Microsoft for $26.2 billion. Since then, he has been busy investing in other tech startups including Worldcoin, a crypto tech startup co-founded by tech millionaire Sam Altman.