Ellen Pao, the interim CEO of Reddit steps down, Steve Huffman, founder and the original Reddit CEO is back in charge now! “Ellen Pao resigned from Reddit today by mutual agreement. I’m delighted to announce that Steve Huffman, founder and the original Reddit CEO, is returning as CEO,” said board member Sam Altman.
Ellen Pao posted an apology to the community earlier this week saying “we screwed up.” In reference to the unforeseen firing of Victoria Taylor community manager, a petition demanding the Pao’s resignation gained popularity. With pressure building up because of the blackouts across the platform, when multiple moderators shutdown the communities like Reddit’s Ask Me Anything section. While in an interview with The New York Times, she attributed her decision to internal disagreements. “It became clear that the board and I had a different view on the ability of Reddit to grow this year,” she said. “Because of that, it made sense to bring someone in that shared the same view.“
“We’re very happy to have Steve back. Product and community are the two legs of reddit, and the board was very focused on finding a candidate who excels at both (truthfully, community is harder), which Steve does,” he wrote. “He has the added bonus of being a founder with ten years of reddit history in his head. Steve is rejoining Alexis, who will work alongside Steve with the new title of “cofounder”.”
An anit-harrasment policy that saw five subreddits banned due to the complaints last month changed the course of matter. Reddit’s unrestrictive policy towards the content on their site changed, and it introduced a rage among the site members, which in particular was directed towards Pao. Altman commented on this in his statement. “As a closing note, it was sickening to see some of the things Redditors wrote about Ellen,” he wrote. “The reduction in compassion that happens when we’re all behind computer screens is not good for the world. People are still people even if there is internet between you. If the Reddit community cannot learn to balance authenticity and compassion, it may be a great website but it will never be a truly great community.“
Well Ellen was never presented as a permanent CEO, contrasting Huffman. Ellen Pao came in to replace Yishan Wong, and was considered as an interim CEO during this time. Nevertheless she did prove fruitful to the company to some extent if not all. “Ellen has done a phenomenal job, especially in the last few months,” Altman told the Times.