Reddit’s first CEO Steve Huffman will take over the community forum site after its former interim CEO Ellen Pao steps down.
Pao exits the company after a mutual decision with the company's board of directors, Reddit board member Sam Altman said Friday, according to Time.
In a post on Reddit, Pao wrote: “So why am I leaving? Ultimately, the board asked me to demonstrate higher user growth in the next six months than I believe I can deliver while maintaining reddit’s core principles.
You will be in good hands -- our strong leadership team will now be led by u/spez, one of reddit’s original co-founders. Like u/kn0thing, he’s lived and breathed reddit since its inception and will work passionately to ensure reddit’s success.”
Spez is Huffman’s Reddit user name.
In a thread on the site, he said:
“Hey Everyone, I'm Steve, aka spez, the new CEO around here. For those of you who don't know me, I founded reddit ten years ago with my college roommate Alexis, aka kn0thing. Since then, reddit has grown far larger than my wildest dreams. I'm so proud of what it's become, and I'm very excited to be back.
I know we have a lot of work to do. One of my first priorities is to re-establish a relationship with the community. This is the first of what I expect will be many AMAs (I'm thinking I'll do these weekly),” he says, before going on to answer more questions posted by Redditors.
Pao came under fire on Reddit after five community forums or subreddits were removed as part of the company’s antiharassment policy, as well as the firing of a respected key administrator Victoria Taylor, the company's director of talent and a facilitator of its Ask Me Anything feature.
This came as the site looked to clean up abuse and inappropriate content on its platform, but encountered outrage from users as it was seen as censorship.