Saturday, July 11, 2015
Ellen Pao Resigns as Reddit’s Interim CEO
Ellen Pao, the interim chief executive of Reddit, resigned from the online message board Friday after a week of ceaseless criticism from scores of angry users over the handling of an employee departure.
Pao will be replaced by Steve Huffman, who, along with Alexis Ohanian, started Reddit a decade ago. Pao said she would remain as an adviser to Reddit’s board for the remainder of the year.
Her exit, which the company described as a mutual agreement between her and Reddit’s board, follows a week of unrest in the Reddit community, which is made up of more than 160 million people who use the site to talk about anything from current events to cat photos.
Pao characterized her departure as a result of a disagreement with Reddit’s board on the future of the company. “It became clear that the board and I had a different view on the ability of Reddit to grow this year,” Pao said in an interview. “Because of that, it made sense to bring someone in that shared the same view.”
Reddit, based in San Francisco, is composed of topic-based forums, known as subreddits. The company has 70 to 80 employees and relies largely upon its thousands of dedicated power users to govern the site.
That tight-knit community erupted when the news broke that Victoria Taylor, a prominent and well-liked Reddit employee, had been dismissed with no public explanation. Many Reddit users blamed Pao, calling for her ouster. Pao apologized for the episode this week.
Pao has long been a figure of controversy in Silicon Valley. In March, she lost a gender discrimination lawsuit against the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where she had previously worked.