After a week of controversy, Ellen Pao is out as the CEO of Reddit, the tenth most-trafficked site in the US.
The controversy began when Pao fired Reddit’s popular AMA coordinator Victoria Taylor. Subreddits appeared across the site calling for her resignation, as well as over 200,000 people signing a Change.org petition urging her to step down. Pao’s being replaced by Reddit cofounder and former chief, Steve Huffman. Pao was CEO for eight months.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Pao said that combative users are “one part of the job I won’t be sorry to give up,” and that user criticism “has been difficult. But there’s been so much support behind the scenes.”
Reddit board member Sam Altman said that Pao wasn’t fired, and Re/code reports that Pao said her exit was a “mutual decision.”
Altman also said in a statement that “it was sickening to see some of the things redditors wrote about Ellen. The reduction in compassion that happens when we’re all behind computer screens is not good for the world. People are still people even if there is Internet between you.”
Today, Pao posted a resignation letter on Reddit, saying she’s “seen the good, the bad and the ugly on reddit. The good has been off-the-wall inspiring, and the ugly made me doubt humanity.”
Earlier this week, Pao publicly acknowledged poor handling of not just the Taylor situation, but of many instances of bad community management. She will stick around as a board advisor through 2015, Reddit says.