Emmett Shear: who is OpenAI Sam Altman replacement and former Twitch CEO - and net worth

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Shear's reported hiring is the latest twist in the Sam Altman saga

Just two days after the tumultuous dismissal of boss and co-founder Sam Altman, OpenAI is poised to appoint Emmett Shear as its new chief executive.

Altman - who helped start OpenAI as a non-profit research laboratory in 2015 - was let go following the board's loss of confidence in him. OpenAI's chief technology officer, Mira Murati, was appointed as interim CEO, but now Shear seems to be the choice for the company's newest leader.

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In a statement posted to X - formerly Twitter - Shear said the role was a “once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," and that he "took this job because I believe that OpenAI is one of the most important companies currently in existence.

“When the board shared the situation and asked me to take the role, I did not make the decision lightly. Ultimately I felt that I had a duty to help if I could.”

Shear added that the process and communication around Altman’s removal as CEO had been “handled very badly”, trust in the company had been “seriously damaged”, and he pledged to hire an independent investigator to “dig into the entire process leading up to this point and generate a full report”.

He also said the OpenAI board did not remove Altman over “any specific disagreement on safety” and that the board’s reasoning was “completely different from that”, but did not offer any further details on Altman’s dismissal.

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But who exactly is Shear, and what was he best known for before his time at OpenAI? Here is everything you need to know about him.

Who is Emmett Shear?

Shear is a prominent figure in the tech world, best known as the co-founder and former CEO of Twitch,the live streaming platform that revolutionised the way people consume and engage with gaming content.

His journey into the tech sphere began during his studies at Yale University, where he developed an interest in computer science and technology, and in 2007, Shear co-founded Justin.tv, an online platform for user-generated video content that later evolved into Twitch.

Recognising the burgeoning demand for live streaming, especially within the gaming community, Shear pivoted Justin.tv to focus exclusively on gaming content, giving rise to Twitch.tv in 2011.

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Under his leadership, Twitch soared in popularity, becoming the go-to destination for gamers, streamers and audiences worldwide.

Shear's leadership propelled Twitch to unprecedented success, eventually leading to its acquisition by Amazon in 2014 for nearly $1 billion.

His approach to content delivery and community engagement reshaped the landscape of online entertainment, cementing Twitch as a powerhouse in the streaming industry.

While Shear stepped down from his role as CEO of Twitch in 2019, his contributions continue to leave a lasting impact, influencing the evolution of digital entertainment and the way audiences connect through live content on the internet.

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