Ellen Pao has agreed to step down as CEO of the popular website Reddit after a tumultuous period of pressure following the still controversial ouster of the site’s well-liked AMA moderator, Victoria Taylor.
Steve Huffman, the site’s co-founder and original CEO, will take over duties effective immediately.
Taylor’s removal, which still hasn’t been fully explained, angered the many volunteer moderators that form the basis for the subreddits that make up the site. These moderators saw her as the only legitimate link between them and the executives running the show.
Following a site-wide shutdown of these volunteer-run pages, Pao issued an initial statement apologizing for how the situation was handled, saying, “We screwed up,” and later admitting, “Today, we acknowledge this long history of mistakes. We are grateful for all you do for reddit, and the buck stops with me.”
In a comment to Re/code, Pao was quick to say she wasn’t fired but stepped down amicably, and that her departure was a mutual decision between she and the site’s board of executives.
Huffman defended Pao, saying, “It’s okay for Redditers to be angry, but I thought some users crossed the line when it became personal.” But he was also excited about his old/new role: “I am a huge part of Reddit and Reddit is a huge part of me.”
According to Pao, her next move is to get some sleep and take some time off.