Stability AI gets new CEO, restructuring amid turmoil

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Stability AI, known for its image generation platform Stable Diffusion, will now be led by Prem Akaraju as its new CEO, according to a report on Monday. the information. Akaraju is the former CEO of visual effects company Weta Digital.

Stability AI's founder and first CEO, Imad Mossadegh, stepped down in March to focus on his new startup Schelling AI. Chief Operating Officer Shan Shan Wong and Chief Technology Officer Christian Lafort were running the company on an interim basis.

The leadership change is part of a broader restructuring effort that comes amid financial struggles, a controversial software release, and intensifying competition in the AI ​​industry.

Akkaraju is stepping into his new role at a critical time for Stability AI. The company, which is expected to be valued at $1 billion in 2022, according to Bloomberg, dealing with mounting debts. The firm generated less than $5 million in revenue in Q1 2024 and reported losses of more than $30 million in the same quarter. Reuterswhich added that the company currently owes about $100 million to cloud computing providers and other creditors.

CNBC It was reported separately in April that Consolidation laid off 10% of its staff to cut costs.

In addition to the layoffs, several key figures have left the company in recent months, including Robin Rombach, one of the original developers of Stable Diffusion, and former CTO Tom Mason. Other notable departures include Joe Pena, who was actively involved in the development of SDXL, and Alex Goodwin, with colleagues under the pseudonym “ComfyAnonymous”, who used ComfyUI as a generic Left to launch to focus on creative AI developments. Interface

Stability AI has also faced challenges with the recent launch of its latest image generation model, the SD3.

The company introduced a new licensing model alongside SD3, aimed at generating more revenue from commercial users of its software. The new license requires users to pay a recurring fee for a “creator license” if they use the model and apply for an “enterprise license” if they produce more than 6,000 images per month. are

This new licensing model was a departure from the company's previous open source approach and was met with significant backlash from the AI ​​community. Citing legal issues, CivitAI, the world's largest stable diffusion repository, has permanently banned SD3 content.

The ban not only limited SD3's reach and potential, but also damaged AI's reputation in the AI ​​community. The new model's poor understanding of human anatomy didn't help.

Apart from appointing Akaraju as CEO, the information He said the company received a “bailout” from a group of investors, described as a “recapitalization” that could affect the value of Stability AI. Among the investors is Sean Parker, the co-founder of Napster and the first president of Facebook, who will become chairman of the board of Stability AI.

Stability AI did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Decrypt.

Edited by Ryan Ozawa.

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