Ellen Pao, the chief executive of influential news and links sharing website Reddit, has resigned.
Now, they have a new, permanent CEO, Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman.
“Ultimately, the board asked me to demonstrate higher user growth in the next six months than I believe I can deliver while maintaining Reddit’s core principles”, Pao said. “Redditors, you deserve clarity about what the content policy of reddit is going to be”, Altman said in a statement Friday. Her dismissal came as a shock, prompting other moderators in Reddit to temporarily shut down their subreddits in protest against here premature removal.
A ex- venture capitalist, Pao has been in the spotlight before, accusing the prominent Silicon Valley firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers of gender discrimination when she was not promoted to a general or senior partner, and then was subsequently terminated.
Pao exits Reddit as the site faces existential questions over its future as a platform for free discussion on the Internet.
However, in striving to bring order to the chaos Pao and her colleagues brought in stringent rules around areas like revenge porn.
Pao’s resignation has been chalked up as “mutual agreement”, but it is quite apparent why she has stepped down. According to The Guardian, Reddit grabbed 163 million sets of eyes last month and it’s getting more and more relevant all the time as it attracts big names to AMAs and interesting discussions in the community.
The good has been off-the-wall inspiring, and the ugly made me doubt humanity”,
she wrote. Despite Pao’s apology for screwing up the firing and other things as of late, a Change.org petition demanding her resignation got over 213,000 signatures. “The list of things I’d rather do than sit in a board meeting is long. reddit is just special”, stated Altman.
Ellen Pao, centre, at the Reddit offices in San Francisco.
Sam Altman termed the whole incident around Ellen Pao sickening and added “The reduction in compassion that happens when we’re all behind computer screens is not good for the world”.
Huffman, who co-founded Reddit with Alexis Ohanian, will step into the familiar position with the benefit of guiding the community he built forward after the upheaval of the past week.
Reddit is often dismissed as a grab bag of conversations, many of them silly and occasionally offensive. After her departure was announced, Reddit users celebrated in an over-the-top fashion. The company declined to make Pao available for an interview. Ellen said she would do the interim work, and I am very thankful she did. Reddit is known for an almost-anything goes style, but leadership said in May that it was unhappy with harassment on its site and survey data showed its users were also upset about the behavior. Then, on Friday, she resigned, becoming the second Reddit leader in less than a year to do so.