OpenAI hires co-founder of Facebook’s failed Libra crypto project

OpenAI announced that it has hired the co-founder of Facebook’s failed Libra crypto project on the same day that tech giant Apple revealed new integration between ChatGPT and its Siri artificial intelligence.

The San Francisco-based firm announced on Monday that former Facebook Libra exec Kevin Weil will become its new chief product officer. Sarah Friar, the former chief financial officer of Square, will also join OpenAI as chief financial officer.   

The tech firm said that Weil “will lead a product team focused on applying our research to products and services that benefit consumers, developers, and businesses.” 

Sam Altman was fired as OpenAI CEO in November 2023 before being rehired.

Facebook launched the Libra project in 2019 as an open-source digital currency. It then rebranded to Diem in December 2020 as the firm reportedly sought to distance itself from the social media platform and woo US regulators. 

Regulators were concerned that the stablecoin project could be used for money laundering and worried about its impact on monetary stability. They also raised concerns that stablecoin-specific regulation wouldn’t be ready before Facebook released Diem to its billions of users.

The project ultimately failed to gain regulatory approval and Facebook shuttered Diem in January 2022, selling $200 million worth of assets to Silvergate Bank. 

Read more: Hong Kong bans WorldCoin, but for how long?

Apple also announced its new partnership with OpenAI on Monday. The deal will see OpenAI lend its ChatGPT artificial intelligence to Apple where it will be incorporated into the firm’s Siri assistant.

OpenAI CEO and co-founder Sam Altman said on X (formerly Twitter) that he was “Very happy to be partnering with Apple to integrate ChatGPT into their devices later this year! think you will really like it.”

Sam Altmans’s crypto-focused identity project Worldcoin has also hired a new executive with a crypto past. Coinbases’s former head of corporate communications, Elliott Suthers, was announced yesterday and will be joining Worldcoin as its head of comms for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

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