From Steve Jobs to Jack Dorsey, 5 CEOs fired from their own company

Sam Altman, the former chief executive of ChatGPT creator OpenAI, will join Microsoft. The 38-year-old tech honcho’s new appointment was announced hours after Emmett Shear was appointed to helm the AI firm.

But Altman is not the only CEO to have been fired from the company in recent times. Here is a list of some high profile chief executives to have been shown the door by the organisations they took to great heights.

Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of tech behemoth Apple, was fired from the company in 1985. The ouster took place due to his confrontation with the company’s board of directors. It was alleged that Jobs’ confrontational management and poor interpersonal skills led to his ouster.

However, Steve Jobs rejoined Apple as its CEO in 1997. In his second stint, he took Apple to greater heights and served as the chief executive for the next 14 years before passing the baton to Tim Cook.

Jack Dorsey
Jack Dorsey, who co-founded social media platform Twitter in 2006, was fired as its CEO in 2008. According to a Verge report, the company’s board found him unfit to lead the company. The board had cited Dorsey’s inability to solve a persistent outage issue that causing the service to crash routinely, the lack of any type of backup for the entire Twitter system, and Dorsey’s tendency to leave work early to attend fashion design and yoga classes.

However, he was reinstated as the CEO in 2015. He served as CEO for another six years before stepping down in 2021, succeeded by Parag Agarwal.

Marissa Mayer
Mayer was hired as Yahoo CEO in 2012, the move dubbed as a coup for the website. Five years later she resigned with a severance package of $23 million. It is said that during her stint, Yahoo experienced massive security breaches which compromised users’ data.

Carly Florina
Florina served as the chief executive of Hewlett Packard from 1999 to 2005. However, she was fired after a six-year stint with the company board members stating she had failed to execute a planned strategy of slashing costs and boosting revenue as quickly as directors had hoped. She had led the 2002 acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp. in 2002 despite fierce resistance from shareholders and directors.

Sam Altman and Steve Jobs
Sam Altman and Steve Jobs

Travis Kalanick
Uber chief executive Travis Kalan resigned from his position in 2017. He chose to step down just a week after he began an indefinite leave of absence. The company was stuck by a major crisis in February when a former employee in a blog post claimed a workplace rife with gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

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