A short-lived CEO argued his job could be automated

Emmett Shear led OpenAI for three days, between founder Sam Altman's exit from and return to the role. It was a 72-hour tenure for a CEO who is ambivalent about the role's future. 

Days before he heeded the call to serve as interim CEO of OpenAI, Mr. Shear was reacting to an article that ran in the U.K. outlet The New Statesman about whether "expensive" CEOs could be automated, Fortune reports.  

"Most of the CEO job (and the majority of most executive jobs) are very automatable. There are of course the occasional key decisions you can't replace," Mr. Shear said on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. "Of course that means you can't really truly 'replace' the CEO, but I think we will see management get widely automated, leading to flatter and more dynamic organizations."

Mr. Shear founded Twitch, a video live streaming service that Amazon acquired in 2014 for $970 million in cash. By Nov. 22, his CEO tenure came to an end when OpenAI founder Sam Altman was reinstated to the position with a new board after a days-long stretch of governance and employee tumult. 

"I am deeply pleased by this result, after ~72 very intense hours of work," Mr. Emmett wrote on X. "Coming into OpenAI, I wasn't sure what the right path would be. This was the pathway that maximized safety alongside doing right by all stakeholders involved. I'm glad to have been a part of the solution." 

Mr. Shear's musings about CEOs being vulnerable to AI sit atop of research from Princeton University, the University of Pennsylvania, and New York University, which found in an analysis of 800-plus occupations that CEO jobs are in the top 12% of positions that generative AI could significantly change or eliminate. The study found "highly educated, highly paid, white-collar occupations may be most exposed to generative A.I."

AI outlooks go both ways. Earlier this year, 42% of CEOs surveyed at the Yale CEO Summit said AI has the "potential to destroy humanity" in five to 10 years. 

Copyright © 2024 Becker's Healthcare. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy. Cookie Policy. Linking and Reprinting Policy.


Featured Whitepapers

Featured Webinars