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Ellen Pao Resigns As Reddit CEO, Co-founder Steve Huffman Takes Over

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Amid what have been real turbulent times at Reddit, CEO Ellen Pao has resigned from her position as chief executive officer by mutual agreement. Steve Huffman, who is the other co-founder of Reddit will take over the position for the time being.

However, she will continue her role as an advisory member on Reddit’s board till the end of the year. Now, the company will be led by Steve Huffman, who co-founded Reddit in 2005 along with Alexis Ohanian. The company plans to give its moderators better tools to perform their duties and will give users more clarity over the site’s content policy.

In a Reddit post explaining her resignation, Ellen Pao said,

So, why am I leaving? 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. In my eight months as Reddit’s CEO, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly on Reddit.

Ellen Pao joined the company in April 2013 and has served as Reddit’s interim CEO since November. Her resignation comes as the company is facing criticism from its community users for firing Victoria Taylor, a Reddit employee who was responsible for its popular “Ask Me Anything” question-and-answer posts.

As a protest, many moderators of Reddit had shut down the website’s one-third of the “default” subreddits and were inaccessible. The criticism continued even after Ellen Pao apologized.

In a public statement posted on Reddit by Sam Altman, head of Reddit’s board, said,

We are thankful for Ellen’s many contributions to reddit and the technology industry generally. She brought focus to chaos, recruited a world-class team of executives, and drove growth. She brought a face to reddit that changed perceptions and is a pioneer for women in the tech industry. She will remain as an advisor to the board through the end of 2015. I look forward to seeing the great things she does beyond that.

For Ellen Pao, the year of 2015 has been a rough year so far. Earlier, she lost a gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Also, she was subsequently required to reimburse the firm for about $276,000 in legal costs.


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