The mind-spinning developments at OpenAI since Friday are a cautionary tale for the legion of companies that have become interested in mixing traditional business with altruism, a prominent corporate governance expert said.

Crucial to the firing of CEO Sam Altman on Friday were the conflicting goals of the nonprofit parent company OpenAI and its for-profit subsidiary, whose spectacular earnings potential had attracted billions of dollars in investment from Microsoft and others. many national news outlets reported over the weekend.