Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman takes over for exiting CEO Ellen Pao

By Stephany Nunneley
11 July 2015 14:27 GMT

Ellen Pao resigned as Reddit’s interim CEO yesterday, and the site’s co-founder Steve Huffman has stepped in to fill her shoes.


Alexis Ohanian, Reddit’s other co-founder and executive chairman will share duties with Huffman, said board head Sam Altman in a statement, per Reuters.

According to statements made by the board as well as Pao, her stepping down was unrelated to the controversy over the firing of Victoria Taylor who was in charge of Reddit AMAs.

Pao said she was exiting the position due the board asking for “higher growth” than she felt attainable. According to Pao, user growth this year was 70% with mobile usage up 47% compared to 29% year-over-year, per The New York Times.

Altman said going forward, the company would do a better job of clarifying what is acceptable content on Reddit and what is not – a policy change may users attributed to Pao being name interim CEO in November 2014.

Four days ago, Pao posted an apology on Reddit promising better communication between higher ups, moderators and the community among other things in the wake of Talyor’s firing.

“Redditors, you deserve clarity about what the content policy of Reddit is going to be,” Altman said in a statement Friday. “The team will create guidelines to both preserve the integrity of Reddit and to maintain Reddit as the place where the most open and honest conversations with the entire world can happen.”

Altman also addresses his displeasure at what he called “sickening” comments made regarding Pao on some of the threads, per Re/Code.

“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,” he said. “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.

“Disagreements are fine. Death threats are not, are not covered under free speech, and will continue to get offending users banned.”

He went on to say Pao insisted “the sweeping majority of redditors” didn’t post disparaging comments and that many were supportive.

Altman said the company is now looking for a new CEO, and told Time Pao would remain at Reddit in an advisory role.

Ars Technica has a more thorough breakdown of the events, and you should go give it a read.

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