Ellen Pao is now reddit’s ex-CEO

ellen pao is now reddits ex ceo reddit  s
Christopher Michel/Flickr
After a tumultuous week filled with apologies, editorials, and petitions, Ellen Pao is stepping down as reddit’s CEO. She will be replaced by Steve Huffman, one of the popular website’s co-founders and its original CEO.

The embattled executive drew extensive criticism across the online community after Victoria Taylor, who oversaw the famous Ask Me Anything series on the platform, was abruptly let go last weekend. Despite Pao’s earlier admission on reddit of her own role in the company’s “screw up,” it seemed that sorry simply wasn’t enough.

“It was sickening to see some of the things redditors wrote about Ellen.”

For the more than 210,000 signees of the petition calling for her resignation, Pao’s announcement feels like justice. A recent New York Times editorial penned by two of reddit’s AMA moderators blasted the now ex-CEO for her lack of communication with company employees regarding key decisions that often affected large portions of the organization. Despite Pao’s apologies, the employees wrote, “we feel strongly that this incident is more part of a reckless disregard for the company’s own business and for the work the moderators and users put into the site.”

In an interview on Friday afternoon regarding the decisions that led up to Pao’s departure from reddit, Pao said “it became clear that the board and I had a different view on the ability of reddit to grow this year. Because of that, it made sense to bring someone in that shared the same view.” When Kara Swisher of Re/Code asked Pao directly if she was fired, however, both she and Y Combinator head (and reddit board member) Sam Altman insisted that the ultimate outcome came from a mutual understanding.

When asked what her next move would be, Pao responded, “I am going to get some sleep. I have to figure it out, but I am going to take some time off.”

Her tumultuous career, both at and before Reddit, has been punctuated by intense criticism, which Altman addressed in his full statement regarding Pao’s departure:

“We are thankful for Ellen’s many contributions to Reddit and the technology industry generally,” wrote Altman. “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.

“As a closing note, it was sickening to see some of the things redditors wrote about Ellen. 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. Steve’s great challenge as CEO will be continuing the work Ellen started to drive this forward,” he concluded.

We’ll just have to wait and see how satisfied the recently red-with-rage reddit community will be in the post-Pao era.


MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Digital Trends Live

Twitch streamer Fuslie gives a glimpse of her life and future plans

Today, we welcomed Twitch streamer Fuslie to talk about how her career goals shifted from becoming a veterinarian to a full-time streamer. Also, she shared what her future plans are for streaming and created content.
Movies & TV

'Stranger Things' season 3 teaser reveals the new episodes' titles

With a sophomore season as strong as its first, Stranger Things is now moving on to season 3. Here's everything we've learned so far about the Netflix series' upcoming third season.

Microsoft is ‘handing even more of online life’ to Google, Mozilla CEO says

Not everyone is happy with Microsoft's switch to Google's Chromium engine. In a new blog post, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard writes that he believes the move is "handing online life control" to Google.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.

Can Microsoft’s Airband Initiative close broadband gap for 25M Americans?

A new report from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) says that 25 million Americans do not have access to broadband internet. Of these, more than 19 million are living in rural communities. Can Microsoft help out?

Microsoft’s Chromium Edge browser may be adding your Chrome extensions

Fans sticking to Google Chrome because due to its vast extension library might be able to switch over to Microsoft's latest iteration of Edge, as a project manager confirms that the company has its eyes on Chrome extensions.

If you've lost a software key, these handy tools can find it for you

Missing product keys getting you down? We've chosen some of the best software license and product key finders in existence, so you can locate and document your precious keys on your Windows or MacOS machine.

Google+ continues to sink with a second massive data breach. Abandon ship now

Google+ was scheduled to shut its doors in August 2019, but the second security breach in only a few months has caused the company to move its plan forward a few months. It might be a good idea to delete your account sooner than later.
Social Media

‘YouTube Rewind 2018’ is about to become its most disliked video ever

YouTube is about to achieve a record it really doesn't want — that of "most-disliked video." Yes, its annual recap of featuring popular YouTubers has gone down really badly this year.