Elon Musk says he was offered OpenAI shares

Elon Musk says he was offered OpenAI shares

Elon Musk

  • Elon Musk claims he was offered but declined shares in OpenAI, a company he cofounded.
  • Musk split with OpenAI in 2018 and has since been a critic.
  • OpenAI, now worth $80 billion, recently allowed staff to cash out their shares.

Elon Musk claims he was offered shares in OpenAI at “various points” but says it “seemed unethical/illegal to accept them.



He was cochair of the AI company along with Sam Altman when it was founded in December 2015 and pledged $1 billion to the project.

OpenAI was created as a nonprofit focused on developing artificial intelligence “in the way that is most likely to benefit humanity as a whole.”

In response to an X user’s question about his founding donation, Musk added it wasn’t clear to him how the company’s structure was legal. The billionaire did not say when he was offered the shares, how many, or by whom.

OpenAI was recently valued at about $80 billion, The New York Times reported. The valuation followed a deal that allowed staff to cash out their shares in the company, per the report.

Representatives for OpenAI did not immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider, made outside normal working hours.



Musk parted ways with the ChatGPT maker in 2018, resigning from its board to “eliminate potential future conflict” due to Tesla’s focus on AI.

However, Musk later claimed he quit due to disagreements with the OpenAI team.

The billionaire has continued to be critical of the AI company, especially its multibillion-dollar partnership with tech giant Microsoft. Musk said last year the nonprofit was now focused on “maximum-profit” — something he said had never his intention.

Musk launched his own AI company last year and released a chatbot that competes with OpenAI’s chatbot ChatGPT.

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