Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao has resigned after a massive sitewide revolt shut down some of the social networks most popular sub-Reddits.
Steve Huffman, a Reddit co-founder, will take over as CEO for the San Francisco-based company. Huffman, also the chief technology officer at the travel startup Hipmunk Inc., has not released an official statement, but said in an interview, “First, I’m super excited. Second I am terrified.”
Following the firing of popular AMA staffer Victoria Taylor, Pao apologized for the unexpected move. Despite her apology, popular Redditors continued to demand her resignation.
According to Reddit board member Sam Altman, the decision to remove Pao as CEO was a “mutual decision over a number of weeks.” Pao also said the decision was mutual, “We had different views in the potential growth rate in users for Reddit this year,” she said in an interview. “We couldn’t come to an agreement on that and I decided to step down.”
Pao was already under fire for her failed gender discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.
Following the decision to remove Ellen Pao, Altman wrote a blog post announcing the change. “It was sickening to see some of the things redditors wrote about Ellen,” Altman wrote. “The reduction in compassion that happens when we’re all behind computer screens is not good for the world.”
Huffman returns to a familiar role, he was the company’s first CEO after he and co-founder Alexis Ohanian developed the online forum. He titled his post “An old team at reddit.”
“Product and community are the two legs of reddit, and the board was very focused on finding a candidate who excels at both (truthfully, community is harder), which Steve does,” Altman wrote. “He has the added bonus of being a founder with 10 years of reddit history in his head.”
With 164 million monthly unique visitors, Reddit can now return to a sense of normalcy, or so it appears.