Reddit CEO Ellen Pao Steps Down After Outrage From Firing Talent Director

Co-founder Steve Huffman takes over

Headshot of Lauren Johnson

Just one week after Reddit moderators revolted against the firing of the site's director of talent Victoria Taylor, interim CEO Ellen Pao has resigned. The move was revealed on Reddit late on Friday, ending the eight-month run she had leading the San Francisco-based digital company.

Hundreds of Reddit subreddits—the platform's topic-based discussions—were shut down to the public last week to protest the firing of Taylor, who managed the site's popular Ask Me Anything (also known as AMA) program with guests like President Barack Obama, Louis C.K. and Stephen Colbert.

The protesters blamed Pao for ousting Taylor, including a set of subreddits attacking her. And the Reddit chief struggled to regain her footing this week. 

On Monday, Pao apologized, saying, "We screwed up. Not just on July 2, but also over the past several years. We haven't communicated well, and we have surprised moderators and the community with big changes. We have apologized and made promises to you, the moderators and the community, over many years, but time and again, we haven't delivered on them."

The statement seemed to do little to alleviate the concerns of Reddit's core user community. 

Now, Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman will replace Pao, working with co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Pao will remain as an advisor on Reddit's board.

She's had a rough year so far. In March, she lost a gender discrimination lawsuit against her previous employer, the venture capital company Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. 

@laurenjohnson Lauren Johnson is a senior technology editor for Adweek, where she specializes in covering mobile, social platforms and emerging tech.