Reddit CEO Ellen Pao Steps Down

© Asa Mathat for Re/code ellen-pao-code-conference-2015-2
© Asa Mathat for Re/code ellen-pao-code-conference-2015-2

Ellen Pao is stepping down as Reddit CEO, a move that comes amid mounting pressure after a series of management mishaps that has angered its very vocal online community. Steve Huffman, Reddit co-founder and its original CEO, is taking over immediately. 

In an interview this afternoon, Pao said the departure was a “mutual decision” with the board, due in part to different views on growth potential. “They had a more aggressive view than I did,” she said.

When I asked her directly if she was fired, Pao laughed and said, “Thanks for getting right to the point,” but again underscored she resigned. Reddit board member and Y Combinator head Sam Altman answered more definitively about whether she was ousted: “No.”

Perhaps it is a matter of semantics, as it seemed that Pao — who has been interim CEO at the company — was inevitably headed for the exit after the ire over the firing of a support staffer for the site’s many moderators morphed and mutated into a loud and sometime vile calls for her ouster.

To bring you up to speed, as reported by Noah Kulwin last week:

“The social news service has thousands of loyal, unpaid moderators who produce and curate the lion’s share of content on the site. But a staff firing and the controversy that erupted thereafter yesterday has moderators of some of the most influential and important parts of the site closing off their sections in protest, posing a serious problem for Reddit’s future .. Unpaid moderators (“subreddit” leaders who perform the drudgery of running some of the Internet’s most prolific forums) who worked closely with Taylor say this will make their jobs harder, because they’re stretched thin already.”

Pao would not say that the growing controversy was the reason for her departure and Altman noted, “Ellen did an incredible job come to come into the situation she did and was dropped into crucible.”

Click here to read more

Source: Re/code | Kara Swisher

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