Reddit chief Ellen Pao resigns amid vitriol, protests

Pao leaves after the company's firing of a key employee sparked a user revolt

Reddit's logo

Reddit's logo

Ellen Pao is resigning as Reddit's interim chief executive after a week of tumult on the online message board with many users calling for her ouster.

Pao is resigning under a mutual agreement with Reddit's board, the company announced. She will be succeeded by Steve Huffman , Reddit's co-founder and original chief executive, who will work alongside Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Pao leaves the company after a storm of furor from users after Reddit's termination of Victoria Taylor, a key employee who helped facilitate Reddit's popular Ask Me Anything sessions.

Late last week, some areas of Reddit's sites known as subreddits, where users post messages in a common thread, were made inaccessible to most users, ostensibly by site moderators who were angry about Taylor's firing. Pao subsequently apologized, acknowledging broader missteps and a lack of responsiveness to concerns from users.

But that didn't stop a petition calling for Pao to be removed as chief executive from gathering more than 200,000 signatures earlier this week.

Reddit claims to have more than 160 million users who visit its site monthly. Many of its tools and message boards are controlled by volunteer moderators.

Pao exits Reddit as the site faces existential questions over its future as a platform for free discussion on the Internet. While the site has traditionally been known for the freewheeling nature of users' posts, in recent months the company has made moves to restrict certain types of speech, including harassment.

It made those moves to better balance free expression with privacy and safety, but some users have criticized the changes.

In March, Pao lost a sex discrimination lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, in a case that shone a much-needed spotlight on discrimination and lack of diversity in the technology industry.

She will remain as an advisor to the Reddit board through the end of the year.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags business issuesInternet-based applications and servicesredditpersonnelsocial networkingsocial mediainternet

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?