Reddit Taps Former Time Inc. Chief Operating Officer as Its New COO

Jen Wong is a self-described avid user of the platform

Reddit has hired former Time Inc. exec Jen Wong as its new chief operating officer. Getty Images
Headshot of Marty Swant

Reddit has hired a former Time Inc. exec as its new chief operating officer.

Jen Wong, who joined Reddit today, was Time’s COO and president of digital from 2016 until leaving the company earlier this year after it was acquired by the publishing conglomerate Meredith Inc. Prior to Time Inc., Wong spent four years as chief business officer of PopSugar after a brief time at AOL.

In the new role, Wong will oversee a number of divisions including sales, business development, marketing, finance and operations. Wong, who described herself as an avid user of the platform, said she wants to grow its current monthly user base of 330 million to as high as 1 billion.

“From gaming to politics to parenting to finding out about insurance, the quality of responses and the feed with which people help you are astonishing,” she said. “And I think that’s really, really differentiated for users and for marketers and for lots of different constituencies [such as] for publishers and for marketers.”

Advertising currently makes up the majority of the company’s revenue. However, advertisers and publishers have at times been wary of the platform. That’s something Wong is hoping to change, as she continues efforts to increase Reddit’s visibility with advertisers through branded content and sponsored channels while also cleaning up its reputation for trolls. Earlier this month, during Facebook’s congressional hearing about Cambridge Analytica, Reddit announced it had removed nearly 1,000 accounts on the platform with ties to the Russia-linked Internet Research Agency.

Wong, who was credited with helping grow Time’s revenue and readership, joins at a time of change for Reddit. Last fall, the company announced its first major redesign, with plans to unveil it sometime this year. Wong said she thinks there is room for a “broader range” of companies that want to work with Reddit—using data, trending topics and original content.

Reddit might also have competition for its up-voting and down-voting. For the past few months, Facebook has been testing a similar feature. Wong said Reddit’s different than Facebook, adding that it’s “incredible source material for so many different constituents.”

“That’s how I saw it from the other side,” she said. “And that’s why I got excited about a relationship with Reddit when I first started at Time. Reddit was one of the first partners and companies I called when I joined Time because I always thought it was important.”

@martyswant Marty Swant is a former technology staff writer for Adweek.