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Who is Emmett Shear, the new CEO of OpenAI who comes from Twitch

A few days after the unexpected farewell of Sam Altman a OpenAI and his equally unexpected entry into Microsoftthe company “responsible” for ChatGPT has already named a worthy replacement: Emmett Shear.

Rumors about this role have been circulating online for a few days, with Shear himself on it X he admitted to having received an important job offer from an (unspecified) company that asked him to become interim CEO.

Given this, it is clear that the last minute replacement of Altman appears much less sudden and which, apparently, the wheels of bureaucracy were already in motion for redesign the summits of power without, of course, having repercussions on work and the company itself.

Let’s see, then, who Emmett Shear is and how he came to become CEO of OpenAI.

Emmett Shear and the Twitch experience


Emmett Shear is well known by insiders, and is considered one of the Silicon Valley personality. It’s no surprise, then, that OpenAI chose him to steer the ship after this storm.

Among Shear’s first business attempts we find Kiko, a calendar application which worked very similarly to current smart diaries on our smartphones. Founded in 2004 together with Justin Kan the company was sold shortly thereafter eBay for around 250 thousand dollars.

Subsequently the two friends, together with Michael Seibel e Kyle Vogtthey gave birth to Justin.tv, a 24-hour live video feed of the life of Justin Kan, who walked around with a webcam attached to his head to let viewers relive his life first-hand.

This “experiment” went on for about eight months but then the four friends had the shock that would change their lives forever.

Emmett Shear, Justin Kan, Michael Seibel and Kyle Vogt founded in 2007 Twitch and at the time almost no one could have predicted the evolution of this platform that it has become today a worldwide phenomenon worth millions of dollars and millions of accesses from everywhere.

Twitch is one of the most famous platforms on the web, a million-dollar business that hosts millions of live streams from all over the world every day

Then, as the platform became more and more famous especially among gamerswas noticed by Amazon who bought it in 2014, paying well for it 1 billion dollars.

Emmett Shear remained CEO of Twitch until last year and during his “reign” Twitch went from being an almost unknown site to a real money machine which, in addition to the founders, has done (and still does) enrich thousands of users which, in recent years, have certainly given Shear and his associates a hard time to have theirs recognised rights of content creators.

Then of course, Twitch also had to compete with YouTubein what is still one of the toughest “digital battles” ever, where the two giants continually challenge each other in a no-holds-barred duel to the sound of viral videos.

Having concluded the experience with Twitch, which nevertheless continues to be one of the most followed realities on the web, Shear is preparing to go to OpenAI, but not without first having compared to his family.

Moreover, the farewell to the world of streaming occurred precisely for his family, with the birth of a son which led the entrepreneur to review your priorities and to dedicate himself less to work and more to his personal affections.

And in fact, as he also explains on X, the decision to accept OpenAI’s engagementwas not taken lightly but, given the importance of this company in the world of artificial intelligence, Shear felt he had to do his part and help, as much as possible, this project grow further.

What changes for OpenAI with Shear


With the abandonment of Sam AltmanOpenAI has faced a real earthquake in these few days, with the main investors immediately perceiving the potential repercussions of such an excellent loss.

We remember Sam Altman was referred by Time as one of 100 most influential personalities in the world of 2023 and, being also a great professional, finding an equally valid “replacement” could have been a truly impossible mission.

His equally sudden entry into Microsoft, on the other hand, created quite a stir because, first of all, Microsoft and OpenAI are partner companies with ChatGPT powering Edgethe search engine Bing, Microsoft 365 and many other productivity software from the Redmond giant.

At the same time, the statements of Satya Nadella (Microsoft CEO) on wanting to entrust Altman with a working group on new AI-based features it could have damaged the relationship between the two partners even more.

For its part, OpenAI has become popular thanks to ChatGPTthe now very famous chatbot based ongenerative artificial intelligence which continues to be used in the most disparate fields, give it smartphone ai browserpassing through the Automobiles and much more.

Among Emmett Shear’s first tasks is to examine the evolution of artificial intelligence and find an efficient response to doubts and fears about the excessive power of this technology

It is clear that a company like this cannot remain uncovered for too long and, in this sense, Emmett Shear is the right person at the right time. And given the extraordinary success of ChatGPT, it will almost certainly find itself having to fight against AI regulatory authority who are increasingly taking the resulting risks into consideration from the excessive development of this technology.

Clearly the discussion is extremely broad and it will be up to Shear and the competent authorities to find effective solutions to first and foremost counteract a illicit use of AIespecially regarding meet online e Fake News.

Then we will also need to intervene to try to understand what it will be the impact of artificial intelligence on some workers and, possibly, understand how to relocate these people elsewhere.

And precisely that of the future use of this technology is perhaps one of the most urgent issues to be discussed but also the one that probably led to Altman’s departure from the company, given his ambitions to further grow ChatGPT despite doubts about safety raised by the other members of the board of directors.

And this will probably also be another of the main problems for Shear who finds himself in charge of a company that is already looking to the future but which, like all entrepreneurial realities, he finds himself having to face problems of the present which may not be so simple to resolve.


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