Reddit loses third female executive in less than a month as chief engineer Bethanye Blount quits

By Shawn Knight
Jul 14, 2015
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  1. The executive turmoil continues at Reddit as vice president of engineering Bethanye Blount has called it quits. The former Facebook staffer was with the company for just two months according to her LinkedIn profile.

    Blount told Re/code that her departure wasn’t directly linked to interim CEO Ellen Pao’s recent resignation but did say she lost confidence in the company’s new direction.

    Specifically, Blount said she felt like there are going to be some big bumps on the road ahead for Reddit. Along the way, she added, there are some very aggressive implied promises being made to the community and they are going to have some pretty big challenges in meeting those implied promises.

    Blount is the third high-profile executive to leave Reddit in less than a month, joining Pao and beloved communications director Victoria Taylor who was fired from her position. Perhaps more importantly, she’s also the third female executive to depart a Silicon Valley company at a time when criticism regarding diversity in the male-dominated industry is at an all-time high.

    Re/code reached out to Reddit co-founder and current CEO Steve Huffman, asking if the company had a gender discrimination problem that needs to be addressed. Huffman said “no” and noted that Blount’s departure had nothing to do with gender. He added that they are confident in their ability to recruit women at the executive level.

    In related news, former CEO Yishan Wong alleges Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian was responsible for the firing of Taylor. Most assumed it was Pao that ordered her dismissal and when the backlash started coming her way, Ohanian reportedly sat back and let it happen. Wong described it as an incredibly shitty thing to do.

    Lead image courtesy O'Reilly Conferences

    Permalink to story.

  2. Honestly Reddit wasn't broken. I feel they are simply trying to destroy it now.
    davislane1 and ninjagai like this.
  3. MoeJoe

    MoeJoe TS Maniac Posts: 354   +170

    The emotional reaction continues.
    Here's an idea ... Grow up !
  4. MilwaukeeMike

    MilwaukeeMike TS Evangelist Posts: 2,729   +1,093

    Couple reasons for the emotional response I think....
    reason #1) If she left her job to get a better job .... not a news story and no one cares. if she left because she was pushed out because she's a woman. Then we get headlines, woot for news sites! If you don't feel like asking the question because you think the answer will be boring, you can just say 'Was Bethanye Blount pushed out because she's a woman?' and tada! No lying, just an implied conspiracy and free clicks!

    reason #2) it's way easier for the casual reader to understand a reason for leaving they're familiar with. Readers know what discrimination is. They wouldn't understand the nuances of strategic direction for a silicon valley at the executive level.

    The most probable reason she left? Same reason bands and marriages break up 'creative differences' and 'irreconcilable differences'. the boring truth is probably just 'they disagreed on too much stuff.' Now... did she disagree because the other people in the room were dudes having a 'who's got the biggest d!ck' contest who refused to compromise on any ideas that weren't theirs? Yeah, maybe, but a board room with too much testosterone isn't discrimination (pompous men disagree with everyone equally) and it isn't news.
  5. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,294   +662

    "Perhaps more importantly, she’s also the third female executive to depart a Silicon Valley company at a time when criticism regarding diversity in the male-dominated industry is at an all-time high."

    More importantly? Why? The press amazes me with its politically correct, outcome-based agenda. What if I told you that there aren't many female tech execs because there aren't that many women entering the tech fields? What if I ALSO told you that maybe the reason for that is because most of them just aren't that interested? NOW where are we? What bogeyman does the media invoke/invent next? And another thing: what's so vital about having sexual diversity in tech fields? So the press can write lots of breathless headlines about sexual harassment? Seriously, screw the press, particularly the tech press that's become just as bad as the mainstream variety. All they do these days is try to create controversy where there is none while ignoring the REAL controversies.
    Misagt and SirChocula like this.
  6. SirChocula

    SirChocula TS Booster Posts: 59   +45

    Agreed, if I was a CEO, I could not give two shits about the gender/sexual orientation, etc of my employees. If they have the talent, they are hired regardless of gender, race, yada yada yada PC bullcrap. I believe in meritocracy, if you're able to do something well, above everyone else that I have seen, then you are the right person for the job.
  7. They say that you can judge a persons character by the company they keep.

    Ellen Pao’s husband was running a Ponzi scheme and has been ordered to repay tens of $millions.

    Just a fact worth remembering. It may help put her credibility in context.

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