(REUTERS) Ellen Pao resigned as acting chief executive of Reddit Friday in the latest sign of turmoil at the site, recently roiled by the firing of a popular employee and ongoing tensions over the limits of free speech on its social-news platform.

Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman, also a co-founder of travel site Hipmunk, will become chief executive. Alexis Ohanian, another co-founder who has been working as executive chairman of reddit, will work “alongside” Huffman, said Reddit board head Sam Altman in a statement on Friday.

Controversy erupted around Reddit last week when the company’s director of talent, Victoria Taylor, was dismissed. Site volunteer moderators temporarily shut down around 300 discussion sections in protest.

That controversy did not factor into Pao’s departure, Altman said in an email.

Pao, who battled her former Silicon Valley employer in court earlier this year, said in a separate statement that she was leaving Reddit because the board had asked for higher growth than she thought was possible.

She joined Reddit in April 2013 and became its acting chief executive in November.

This year, user growth was 70 percent, she said, and mobile usage rose to 47 percent compared to 29 percent last year.

Reddit, known for freewheeling discussions, has attracted a minority group of users who engage in hate speech over racism, women’s issues, and other topics.

Under Pao, the site had tried to address the issue, banning sexually explicit images, removing a handful of discussion sections and prohibiting harassment of individuals.

“Redditors, you deserve clarity about what the content policy of reddit is going to be,” Altman said in a statement Friday. “The team will create guidelines to both preserve the integrity of reddit and to maintain reddit as the place where the most open and honest conversations with the entire world can happen.”

Pao achieved notoriety through a sex discrimination lawsuit filed against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. She lost the suit and is appealing the decision.

San Francisco-based Reddit launched in 2005 and has grown to become one of the most highly viewed sites on the Internet, drawing some 160 million unique users a month.

An October financing round of $50 million valued Reddit, in which magazine publisher Conde Nast owns a stake, at $500 million.


(T客棒) 在面臨了大批的版主關版抗議事件之後,Reddit相當受到爭議的代理CEO Ellen Pao之前已經發文道歉過,不過鄉民似乎並不買單。而在昨天, Ellen Pao正式向Reddit辭職,原CEO由原始Reddit的創辦人兼前執行長Steve Huffman回鍋來接掌。

Ellen Pao在發出的文件中說明:「在Reddit工作了兩年之後,我宣佈辭職。在我暫代擔任Reddit的執行長八個月期間,我見到了Reddit中的好的、壞的以及醜陋的一面。好的部分將會永遠啟發著我,醜陋的一面則使我更保有人性。」

關於Ellen Pao的辭職引起很多兩面的看法,有些人認為這是鄉民的勝利,但也有人認為這是一種網路民粹:一個CEO的去留竟然是因為鄉民的網路言論,實在是荒謬。當然,也有人不免會把這件事扯到女性主義上面,說女性不受到科技業重視之類的,但也有人認為這件事從頭到尾都不是Reddit的問題,而是Ellen Pao一個人一意孤行的結果。

Reddit的董事會成員 Sam Altman 證實了Ellen Pao的辭職,並表示獲得董事會成員的通過,不過表示在今年年底前,Ellen Pao將仍會在董事會保有顧問一職。他並且表示Ellen Pao「讓大眾對於Reddit有了新的看法,而且她是一位在科技產業的女性先鋒。」

至於要回來接手的Steve Huffman,則是在Reddit上表示,這是瘋狂的一天,而他已經準備好有很多的事情要做了,他有累積了五年的想法打算用在Reddit上來執行。顯然是相當期待。


Source: Reuters, TechBang, Wired, CNET