Sam Altman says his iPhone broke after being fired from OpenAI because it was overwhelmed with messages

  • Sam Altman says he got so many messages after being fired from OpenAI that his phone was unusable.

  • The CEO was abruptly ousted by board members last month before being reinstated.

  • Altman said the situation had been chaotic and confusing.

Sam Altman said he was so inundated with messages after his shock firing from OpenAI that his iPhone stopped working.

The CEO spoke at length about his chaotic ousting from OpenAI during a podcast interview with Trevor Noah, released on Thursday.

He told Noah, "My phone was just like unusable because it was just notifications nonstop. iMessage did this thing where it stopped working for a while, then messages got delivered late, then it marked everything as read."

Altman said after the company's president, Greg Brockman, and a few other high-profile employees quit the company over the decision, he started to get messages about people who wanted to come and work with him.

Altman said being fired by OpenAI's board came as a shock at first.

"I was confused. It was chaotic," he said, adding that the news didn't immediately feel real. He said while he was "obviously upset" by the board's decision, confusion was his "dominant emotion" following his firing.

There is still little public information about why Altman, a seemingly popular leader, was fired from his role. The board failed to provide a reason at the time beyond saying that Altman had been less than "candid" in his communications.

The decision triggered a chaotic chain of events that led to the majority of the company's staff threatening to quit. Altman was eventually reinstated as CEO and the board was largely replaced.

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