By Jeffrey Dastin
(Reuters) – LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman is leaving OpenAI’s board to avoid conflicts of interest as he backs more artificial intelligence companies, he said in an online post.
Hoffman, who has invested in and advised the startup since its 2015 founding, said his venture capital firm Greylock is funding companies such as presentation generator Tome, which are paying for tools from OpenAI, the creator of chatbot sensation ChatGPT. Hoffman also co-founded Inflection AI, one of the highest profile startups working on technology similar to OpenAI’s.
“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,” he said, noting OpenAI has avoided conflicts to date.
Hoffman’s departure underscores competition among an increasing number companies aiming to reshape content production as well as entire industries through AI.
At the same time, Hoffman said he remained OpenAI’s “ally” and wanted to work toward “elevating humanity” through technology including cross-industry partnerships if desired.
Sam Altman, OpenAI’s chief executive, said in a Twitter post responding to Hoffman that he looks forward “to much more collaboration in the future!”
Hoffman remains on the board of Microsoft Corp, itself a major partner to and investor in OpenAI.
(Reporting By Jeffrey Dastin in Palo Alto, Calif.; Editing by Josie Kao)