OpenAI’s head of trust and safety resigns to spend more time with his kids, says it feels right

The head of trust and security at OpenAI, the parent company of ChatGPT, has resigned to spend more time with his children. In a LinkedIn post he revealed his decision and said it felt 'incredibly right'.

by Vikash Kumawat
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ChatGPT’s parent company, OpenAI, employs thousands of people and the startup shot to fame in November, 2022, when it introduced its revolutionary chatbot to the market. Over time, ChatGPT’s popularity soared to new heights and even reportedly caused Google some sleepless nights, which then came up with its own AI chatbot, Bard. There is no doubt that many technologists today are eager to work for OpenAI, because artificial intelligence is the future. However, for some people, their family comes first because they know that no one can take their place in the house.

Echoing the same sentiment, Dave Willner, head of trust and security at OpenAI, resigned from his position to spend more time with his family. He disclosed this in a LinkedIn post.

On LinkedIn, Willner wrote that he had some “sour news” to share as he was leaving his role at OpenAI and “transitioning into an advisory role”.

He then talked about how proud he is of his team and how much progress the team has made since he first joined. He then added that his wife, who also works at OpenAI, and he had made it clear that nothing comes before family. However, Willner said he was finding it difficult to complete the deal due to an increase in his workload following the launch of ChatGPT.

Talking about how he wants to prioritize his kids over work, he wrote, “OpenAI is going through a high-intensity phase in its development — and our kids, too. Anyone with young kids and a highly intense job can relate to that stress, I think, and these past few months have made it really clear to me that I have to prioritize one or the other.”

Talking about his next move, he said that he would be helping early stage companies so that he could have more time for his family.

“That moment of clarity allowed me to make a decision that probably seems counterintuitive to many people, but felt incredibly right to me. It turned out to be a very easy choice, although not one that people in my position often make so clearly in public. I hope this post can help to generalize it. So that’s it! On top of my OKRs I started teaching kids to swim and bike this summer. I’m from Charlotte Said, I was going to print business cards for myself that read “Charlotte” Te’s official hype man, whom she hates. If you or anyone you know is in need of advice, I’m happy to say that I now have time for that too. Don’t hesitate to get in touch,” he wrote.

Tweet on OpenAI

Willner isn’t the only techie prioritizing work-life balance over big paychecks. A survey by job posting site Blind earlier found that techies are willing to accept lower pay if it means a better life.

“Engineers are lowering their salary expectations, but there is a new emphasis on non-monetary benefits such as career growth, work-life balance and company culture,” said a company blog post.

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