Ellen Pao Quits Reddit, Steve Huffman Taking Over
After more than a week of Reddit imploding over AMA coordinator Victoria Taylor being let go, Ellen Pao is stepping down as Reddit CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman is taking over.
Pao told Recode this was a “mutual decision” with the board due in part to different views in growth potential. Asked flat-out if she’d been fired, she laughed and reiterated that she was resigning, while Reddit board member Sam Altman answered firmly, “No.”
Still, it seemed like only a matter of time before she folded to public pressure for her to leave. She was not well-liked by the Reddit community even before the botched communication around Taylor leaving – though opinions are divided as to how much Pao deserved such intense criticism from Reddit, which isn’t exactly the nicest place on the internet, particularly for women of color.
Altman posted this to Reddit before hosting an AMA about the change in management:
“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.”
Meanwhile Pao said that dealing with angry Redditors was one part of the job she wouldn’t miss:
I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly on reddit. The good has been off-the-wall inspiring, and the ugly made me doubt humanity.
“I just want to remind everyone that I am just another human; I have a family, and I have feelings. Everyone attacked on reddit is just another person like you and me. When people make something up to attack me or someone else, it spreads, and we eventually will see it. And we will feel bad, not just about what was said. Also because it undercuts the authenticity of reddit and shakes our faith in humanity.
“What has far outshone the hate has been the positive on reddit. Thank you, kind strangers, for expressing your support.”