Ellen Pao has stepped down as the CEO of Reddit


Reddit CEO Ellen Pao’s relationship with the Reddit community has never been the best, but the website’s decision to fire an essential and well-liked Reddit admin was the final straw for many. Moderators and normal users alike have been in a sort of mini-revolt on Reddit these past few weeks, which culminated in the the temporary shutdown of many of the website’s most popular sub-reddits a few days ago. Unable to ignore people’s complaints any longer, Ellen Pao has stepped down from her position as CEO and has handed control over to co-founder Steve Huffman.

Reddit announced Friday that Ellen Pao is stepping down from her post as CEO as co-founder Steve Huffman returns to run the sprawling online community. In a post on Reddit, Y-Combinator executive Sam Altman thanked Pao because she “brought focus to chaos.” The move comes after a chaotic week in which a major chunk of the site shut down in protest of the firing of communications director Vitoria Taylor and a petition calling for Pao’s resignation gathered more than 200,000 signatures. Co-founderAlexis Ohanian will also return to the company in the role of “co-founder,” according to an announcement that Y-Combinator’s Sam Altman posted to the site. Pao is set to stay on as an advisor through the end of 2015. Altman suggested that Huffman would push Reddit onto more smartphones. “I’m particularly happy that Steve is so passionate about mobile. I’m very excited to use reddit more on my phone,” he wrote. Altman also addressed the widespread misogyny that often greeted Pao’s posts on the site. “As a closing note, it was sickening to see some of the things redditors wrote about Ellen,” Altman wrote. “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. 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.”

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