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Photo illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

Sam Altman is stepping down as president of influential startup incubator Y Combinator, in order to spend more time on outside interests like the OpenAI research organization. He'll transition into a chairman role, with many of his day-to-day responsibilities assumed by YC's partners.

Why it matters: YC is known for breeding unicorns, having incubated such startups as Airbnb, Dropbox, Stripe and Twitch.

Altman was YC's second-ever president, hand-picked in 2014 by predecessor Paul Graham, and has significantly expanded the program's scale. He tells Axios that he only sees the program continuing to grow:

"As capital and advice get more commoditized, network becomes the durable advantage."
— Altman

YC today also will confirm reports that it plans to move both its headquarters and its Demo Days from Mountain View into San Francisco. The new Demo Day also will be split into 2 tracks, due to the larger number of companies.

Go deeper

3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Biden's tax-the-rich plans

Photo: Doug Mills/Pool/Getty Images

President Biden in the next few days will unveil eye-popping new tax rates for the wealthiest Americans —a top marginal income tax rate of 39.6% and a capital gains rate of 43.4%.

Why it matters: The proposal, to be announced ahead of Biden's address to Congress next Wednesday, is an opening bid for Hill negotiations.

Caitlin Owens, author of Vitals
23 mins ago - Health

The next generation of coronavirus vaccines won't come as quickly

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

A flood of cash from Operation Warp Speed helped coax a slew of biotech companies into the race for a coronavirus vaccine, but the incentives to keep working on new competitors won't be nearly as strong.

Why it matters: That initial flood of cash worked — it delivered multiple, highly effective vaccines in record time. In other disease areas, though, second- and third-generation vaccines usually become the dominant products. And the first COVID-19 vaccines aren't necessarily a great fit for the whole world.

The Biden climate doctrine emerges at summit

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

President Biden's climate summit is highlighting a White House approach that blends diplomacy, executive power, salesmanship and a few threats too.

  • Here are a few pillars of the emerging Biden doctrine.