Y Combinator CEO Sam Altman announced today that the company is undergoing a structural transformation, placing a partner in charge of each of its individual business units.
While Altman remains president of the entire organization, he has ceded direct authority over individual programs to others. Paul Buchheit is replacing him as managing partner of the core YC program, while Kevin Hale will take over YC Fellowship, the company’s early-stage startup program that offers $12,000 grants.
“YC was far too big for any person to run all of it,” Altman said in an interview with VentureBeat. “This lets different people run different areas, and I’ll be able to collaborate with all of them.” While Altman will remain the leader of the organization, he’ll spend additional time within its investment programs, specifically YC Fellowship, YC Core, and YC Continuity, the organization’s later-stage fund
As for YC Research, Y Combinator’s new research lab that’s akin to Google[x], Altman said that “until we find someone to run it full-time,” he’s going to take the lead. This makes sense — he has a big investment in the initiative, having donated $10 million to get it started. The program, Altman said, is “going well” and has hopes to fund more groups beyond openAI this year.
This isn’t the first time Altman has made structural changes at YC. In the past year, Altman elevated partner Qasar Younis to be YC’s first chief operating officer and also spun out Hacker News under the direction of Daniel Gackle. Altman’s reasoning behind these changes has been promoted as a way to scale the organization so it can better meet the needs of its constituents, namely the slew of startups that pass through its halls every year, and all the potential ones.