Mar 5, 2024 - Technology

Scoop: OpenAI expands its communications operation

Illustration of speech bubbles containing ones and zeros.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

OpenAI is expanding its communications function with the addition of new product, policy and partnerships comms leads, Axios has learned.

Why it matters: The OpenAI PR team, which has doubled in size over the last year, is focused on winning over audiences amidst increased regulatory pressures, legal woes and skepticism among the general public.

Driving the news: OpenAI has brought on Liz Bourgeois to lead policy communications, Lindsay McCallum to support product and research communications and Steve Sharpe to run partnership communications.

  • Bourgeois — who is the company's first D.C.-based comms hire — most recently served as chief communications officer for the recruiting platform Handshake, and previously managed strategic communications for the U.S. Treasury Department and Meta.
  • McCallum is a Twitter alum and most recently oversaw communications for venture capital firm Headline.
  • Sharpe led communications at Sequoia, Slack and Intuit before joining OpenAI earlier this year.

What they're saying: Education remains the top priority as the technology evolves at a rapid pace, OpenAI head of public relations Lindsey Held told Axios.

  • "We're focused on educating broad audiences about our AI tools while also continuing to build trust," Held said. "As part of that we aim to be really transparent in our communications and forthright about our safety work."

What to watch: The maker of ChatGPT, DALL-E 3 and Sora is expected to continue to build out its communication function and is currently hiring for media relation roles across Europe.

Go deeper: OpenAI joins race to make videos from text prompts

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to note that Bourgeois will lead policy communications at Open AI, rather than supporting policy and corporate communications, and McCallum will support, not manage, product and research communications.

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