Reddit CEO Resigns Over Office Plan Disagreement [UPDATED]

By Mona Zhang 

Reddit CEO Yishan Wong has resigned from his position as the site seeks “grow up,” reports Mike Isaac at The New York Times. Ellen Pao, the company’s head of strategic partnerships, will serve as interim CEO as the site looks for a replacement.

Sam Altman, a Reddit investor, wrote about Wong’s resignation over at his blog:

The reason was a disagreement with the board about a new office (location and amount of money to spend on a lease). To be clear, though, we didn’t ask or suggest that he resign — he decided to when we didn’t approve the new office plan.
 
We wish him the best and we’re thankful for the work he’s done to grow reddit more than 5x.

Isaac, however, points out some other recent conflicts that could’ve factored into Wong’s decision to resign. Its management took some heat after deciding to relocate employees to San Francisco last month. Wong also reportedly made some current employees uncomfortable after publicly laying out the reasons why a former employee was fired.

Other developments in the leadership shake-up:

  • Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit, is returning to the company as executive chairman. He had been partner at Y-Combinator, and will transition to a part-time role there.
  • Dan McComas is being promoted to SVP of product. He founded redditgifts, the site’s popular gift exchange.

UPDATE:

Wong has written on Quora about his decision to resign. While he acknowledged the office disagreement, he explained that he had a “deeper reason” for leaving:

The job as CEO of reddit is incredibly stressful and draining. After two and a half years, I’m basically completely worn out, and it was having significantly detrimental effects on my personal life. If anything, I probably pushed myself way too far – as a first-time CEO, all I knew was that such jobs are supposed to be stressful, so I never really had a good baseline, i.e. how stressful is too stressful, until multiple outside people and coaches I was working with remarked to me that I looked incredibly worn down for months on end and it wasn’t supposed to be this hard.

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