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Ellen Pao Steps Down as Reddit CEO


You might remember that recently Reddit descended into abject chaos following the termination of Victoria Taylor, their director of communications. She was well liked, and her sudden departure aggravated the moderator community so much that they staged a coup, blocking access to some of the most popular subreddits on the site. The issue has since been resolved but it was a PR disaster and now CEO Ellen Pao has resigned.

Pao has been chief executive of Reddit since November 2014, but she gained some notoriety outside of that when she sued her previous employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, for sexual discrimination. She lost the case, but is still in the process of appealing.

Following the difficulties the site faced after Taylor was sacked, Pao issued her own apology on the site, admitting that they had 'screwed up' and 'acknowledge this long history of mistakes'. Pao ended the post by taking personal responsibility both for the Taylor incident and everything else that's gone wrong under her watch.

CEO duties have been taken up by co-founder Steve Huffman, who kicked things off yesterday by hosting an AMA to answer any nagging questions about the site going forward. In it, he stated that he would continue to do AMAs on a weekly basis in order to 're-establish a relationship with the community'. In a separate statement, Huffman also defended Pao from some of the harsh criticism she weathered while she had run of the site. 'It’s okay for redditors to be angry,' He said. 'But I thought some users crossed the line when it became personal.'

Even when Pao originally joined the site controversy abounded. The previous CEO Yishan Wong resigned in the wake of an even more damning controversy about stolen nude celebrity photos being posted on the site. Pao was originally only supposed to be holding the position in the interim until someone else was found, but ended up staying on for 8 months and if this hadn't happened she may have lasted even longer.

Callum Davies

Callum is a film school graduate who is now making a name for himself as a journalist and content writer. His vices include flat whites and 90s hip-hop. Follow him @CallumAtSMF

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Ellen Pao Steps Down as Reddit CEO Reviewed by Unknown on Monday, July 13, 2015 Rating: 5

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