What’s old is new again as Reddit co-founder and original CEO Steve Huffman has once again been handed the reins to the front page of the Internet. The appointment comes during a tumultuous time for the site and is a direct result of interim CEO Ellen Pao’s resignation.
To most familiar with the Reddit community, her resignation isn’t at all surprising.
Last month, Reddit banned five community forums (subreddits) as part of a new anti-harassment policy. The move created a caustic environment among some of the site’s members – especially proponents of free speech – but it was the firing of beloved communications director Victoria Taylor that proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back
Moderators for a number of popular subreddits made their respective subreddits private in protest of the firing. A petition on Change.org calling for Pao’s resignation that went live last month gained support by the droves, amassing more than 200,000 signatures before she stepped down on Friday.
In her farewell post, Pao said she’s seen the good, the bad and the ugly on Reddit during her eight months as CEO. The good, Pao noted, has been off-the-wall inspiring while the ugly has made her doubt humanity.
Pao contends that the latest controversies didn’t directly lead to her exit. Instead, she said she elected to leave because the board of directors demanded growth that she didn’t feel was possible to attain. She will remain associated with the site as an advisor to the board through the end of the year.