As seemingly first reported by Recode, it looks like Ellen Pao, the interim CEO of Reddit, has stepped down from the CEO position today. In the backdrop of the unease of the Reddit mods and general community regarding changes to Reddit over the last several months, including the firing of former IAMA administrator Victoria Taylor, and even spawning today as a Reddit blackout day for several members of the community. Steve Huffman will be taking over as CEO for the time being. The name may seem familar as he was one of the Reddit co-founders and the original CEO for the company. This also comes off the heels of Yishan Wong who stepped down from the CEO position this last November, when the site was going through a storm of controversy regarding stolen celebrity photos.
In an interview that occurred today, Pao and the board of directors of Reddit had seemingly come to a “mutual decision” for Pao to step down as there were conflicts on the growth potential of the company. Ellen Pao indicated that “They had a more aggressive view then I did”. Questions about whether she was fired from the position have been met with overwhelming nos from both Pao herself and Reddit board member Sam Altman. As a parting statement from Altman, it was indicated on the announcements subreddit that “We are thankful for Ellen’s many contributions to reddit and the technology industry generally. She brought focus to chaos, recruited a world-class team of executives, and drove growth. She brought a face to reddit that changed perceptions, and is a pioneer for women in the tech industry. She will remain as an advisor to the board through the end of 2015. I look forward to seeing the great things she does beyond that.” So Pao will be around for a period of time even with her step down.
As for the future of Reddit, Huffman seems excited to take the reigns again by saying that “I am a huge part of Reddit, and Reddit is a huge part of me.” With moderators having trust issues with the lack of moderation tools that have been promised, and a site that has had problems turning a profit over the last several years, it will be a huge hurdle for Mr. Huffman to fill. However, Mr. Huffman indicated that “Mods, you are what makes reddit great. The reddit team, now with Steve, wants to do more for you. You deserve better moderation tools and better communication from the admins.” Hopefully, that will be backed up in the weeks/months to come.
Does this change any thoughts regarding the current the state of Reddit for you, or has the actions of the last several years shown a trend to you?