OpenAI Chief Scientist Sutskever Steps Down, Pachocki Takes the Helm

OpenAI co-founder Ilya Sutskever departs to work on a “very personally meaningful” project

Ben Wodecki, Jr. Editor

May 17, 2024

2 Min Read
JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images

OpenAI chief scientist and co-founder Ilya Sutskever is leaving the company.

After a decade at the Microsoft-backed company, Sutskever announced he’s leaving to work on a “very personally meaningful” project.

Jakub Pachocki will take over from Sutskever as OpenAI’s chief scientist.

“The company’s trajectory has been nothing short of miraculous, and I’m confident that OpenAI will build artificial general intelligence (AGI) that is both safe and beneficial under the leadership of Sam Altman, Greg Brockman, Mira Murati and now, under the excellent research leadership of Pachocki,” Sutskever said on X (formerly Twitter).

View post on X

OpenAI CEO said in a message to staff that OpenAI would not be what it is without Sutskever.

“Although he has something personally meaningful he is going to go work on, I am forever grateful for what he did here and committed to finishing the mission we started together,” Altman said. “I am happy that for so long I got to be close to such a genuinely remarkable genius, and someone so focused on getting to the best future for humanity.”

Ilya Sutskever departs having held some responsibility for the company’s internal implosion last November. Altman was fired over claims he wasn’t “consistently candid” with the board.

Altman was quickly reinstated and the OpenAI board was replaced. Days later Sutskever expressed regret over his actions.

Related:OpenAI Clears Sam Altman Without Disclosing Specifics

In March CEO Altman was cleared of any wrongdoing.

Who is Jakub Pachocki?

Jakub Pachocki will replace the long-serving Sutskever as OpenAI’s chief scientist. Pachocki has been with OpenAI since 2017.

Pachocki has worked across a variety of areas at the company, leading research teams working on deep learning, reasoning and applying AI to the video game Dota 2.

Pachocki was previously OpenAI’s director of research.

“Jakub is also easily one of the greatest minds of our generation; I am thrilled he is taking the baton here,” Altman said. “He has run many of our most important projects, and I am very confident he will lead us to make rapid and safe progress towards our mission of ensuring that AGI benefits everyone.”

“Ilya introduced me to the world of deep learning research, and has been a mentor to me, and a great collaborator for many years,” Pachocki said of Sutskever. “His incredible vision for what deep learning could become was foundational to what OpenAI, and the field of AI, is today.”

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ChatGPT / Generative AI

About the Author(s)

Ben Wodecki

Jr. Editor

Ben Wodecki is the Jr. Editor of AI Business, covering a wide range of AI content. Ben joined the team in March 2021 as assistant editor and was promoted to Jr. Editor. He has written for The New Statesman, Intellectual Property Magazine, and The Telegraph India, among others. He holds an MSc in Digital Journalism from Middlesex University.

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