OpenAI Hires Ex-NSA Chief Paul M. Nakasone to its Board

By Jose Resurreccion

Jun 13, 2024 11:50 PM EDT

OpenAI Hires Ex-NSA Chief Paul M. Nakasone to its Board
Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command Army Gen. Paul Nakasone testifies before the House (Select) Strategic Competition Between the United States and the Chinese Communist Party Committee on Capitol Hill on January 31, 2024 in Washington, DC.
(Photo : Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

Former National Security Agency (NSA) director and retired US Army general Paul M. Nakasone has been named as the new board member of OpenAI.

In a statement Thursday (June 13), the developers of ChatGPT said that Nakasone's insights in his previous roles in the defense and security community would "contribute" to the company's efforts to improve its understanding of how artificial intelligence (AI) could be used to strengthen cybersecurity by "quickly detecting and responding" to threats. 

Retired General on OpenAI's Board

CNBC reported that the former general would also join OpenAI's recently created Safety and Security Committee, which is speculated to be the replacement to its "Superalignment" team after its head, Jan Leike, warned the public about the company's choice of profit over safety. 

Nakasone, a Trump appointee who previously led the US Cyber Command, would contribute his national security and cybersecurity expertise to OpenAI's board, Axios reported. 

Aside from the former general, the current board is composed of CEO Sam Altman, Adam D'Angelo, Larry Summers, Bret Taylor, former Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation CEO Dr. Sue Desmond Hellmann, former Sony executive Nicole Seligman, and Instacart chair and CEO Fidji Simo.

VCPost reported earlier this week that undercover security personnel were spotted outside the company's San Francisco office. It remains to be seen whether Nakasone's addition to the board was related to the incident.

READ NEXT: Mystery Surrounds OpenAI's San Francisco Office as Undercover Guards Raise Concerns

Other OpenAI Executive Hires

Meanwhile, OpenAI has also been filing and bolstering its C-suite as its large language models gained importance across the tech sector as competition increases in size and scope in the rapidly-growing generative AI market. 

Earlier this week, OpenAI announced that it hired former Nextdoor CEO and former Square finance chief Sarah Friar as its CFO and former Planet Labs president Kevin Weil as its new chief product officer. 

The company said that Friar would be tasked to lead a finance team that would support its mission to provide "continued investment in [its] core research capabilities," as well as ensuring that they could sustain its operation in supporting its customer base.

On the other hand, Weil, a former senior vice president for Twitter and a former vice president for Meta's platforms Facebook and Instagram, would be tasked to apply its research to products and services that would benefit its consumers, developers, and businesses

READ MORE: OpenAI Gambles on Apple's No-Payment Deal for ChatGPT Access in iOS 18

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