OpenAI hires new CFO and product chief, announces Apple deal to integrate ChatGPT

Sarah Friar has been named OpenAI CFO

Anjali Sundaram | CNBC

OpenAI on Monday hired two top executives and announced a partnership with Apple that includes a ChatGPT-Siri integration.

The company said Sarah Friar, who was previously CEO of Nextdoor and finance chief at Square, is joining as CFO. Friar co-chairs the Stanford Digital Economy Lab.

“She will lead a finance team that supports our mission by providing continued investment in our core research capabilities, and ensuring that we can scale to meet the needs of our growing customer base and the complex and global environment in which we are operating,” OpenAI wrote in a blog post.

OpenAI also hired Kevin Weil, an ex-president at Planet Labs, as Its new chief product officer. Weill was previously a senior vice president at Twitter and a vice president at Facebook and Instagram. Weil’s product team will be focused on “applying our research to products and services that benefit consumers, developers, and businesses,” the company wrote.

OpenAI is bolstering its C-suite as its large language models gain importance across the tech sector and as competition rapidly emerges in the burgeoning generative artificial intelligence market. While the company has been in hyper growth mode since late 2022, when it launched ChatGPT, OpenAI has also been riddled with controversy and has seen many employees hit the exits of late.

In May, a group of current and former OpenAI employees published an open letter describing concerns about the AI industry’s rapid advancement despite a lack of oversight and an absence of whistleblower protections for people who wish to speak up.

“AI companies have strong financial incentives to avoid effective oversight, and we do not believe bespoke structures of corporate governance are sufficient to change this,” they wrote.

The partnership between OpenAI and Apple that the companies announced Monday will integrate ChatGPT into iOS, iPadOS and macOS in updates that will go live later this year.

OpenAI said in a blog post that the integration allows users to access ChatGPT capabilities like image and document understanding, as well as text generation and image creation within Apple’s Writing Tools feature.

“Siri can also tap into ChatGPT’s intelligence when helpful,” OpenAI wrote. “Apple users are asked before any questions are sent to ChatGPT, along with any documents or photos, and Siri then presents the answer directly.”

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