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OpenAI Appoints Former Leaders from Nextdoor and Instagram to its Team

OpenAI is bringing in some social media big guns to help take its business to the next stage, with former Nextdoor CEO Sarah Friar coming on board as CFO, and former Instagram VP of Product Kevin Weil taking up the role of Chief Product Officer at the A.I. business.

Both bring immense experience in the digital media space, with a specific focus on social media-based U.I., which will provide OpenAI with a wealth of new insights to help drive its next-level business plans.

As per OpenAI:

OpenAI has grown into a global organization serving hundreds of millions of consumers, millions of developers and the worlds largest companies. To make continued progress on our mission, we are doubling down on the things we have always done uniquely well: conducting world-leading research, and using it as the foundation to build and safely deploy A.I. products. Sarah and Kevin bring a depth of experience that will enable OpenAI to scale our operations, set a strategy for the next phase of growth, and ensure that our teams have the resources they need to continue to thrive”

OpenAI is the current leader in the next wave of generative A.I. projects, which has become an industry segment all of its own, as businesses scramble to understand and implement the latest wave of A.I. innovations.

More recently, however, questions have been raised as to the true benefits of A.I., and whether it’s as transformative as many tech industry folk have proclaimed.

Meta’s latest A.I. innovations, for example, have been overly derided by users, while more and more questions continue to be raised about the accuracy, and therefore usability, of generative A.I. tools.

Still, OpenAI itself is in a strong position as a first-mover in the A.I. race, at least from a consumer product perspective, and it now has an opportunity to become the key player that powers the next generation of automated assistant tools.

Both Friar and Weil are set to play key roles in this, and it’ll be interesting to see how their experiences in social extend into this next element. Weil, in particular, worked in influential product roles a both Twitter and Instagram, while he also worked on Meta’s Diem cryptocurrency project.

Interestingly, Friar also previously served as CFO at Square, another digital payments project. Could that suggest that OpenAI might also look into digital payments in some form as well?

I would presume not, and that this is just a coincidence, but it will be interesting to see how these new additions help to steer OpenAI’s direction on products and offerings moving forward.   

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