Ellen Pao Apologizes: Reddit CEO Takes Blame For Recent Controversies As Calls For Her Resignation Grow Louder

Ellen Pao has apologized for her missteps as the CEO of Reddit, but a growing number of the site’s users are still calling for her to be removed as the top officer on the site that calls itself the “Front Page of the Internet.”

On Monday, Pao took to Reddit to issue an apology for the way the company handled a number of recent situations. Last week, the site fired popular employee Victoria Taylor, who was the person in charge of setting up and running the Ask Me Anything (or IAMA) series. Many of the site’s volunteer moderators were upset at the lack of communication over her firing, which left many IAMAs up in the air.

As a result, dozens of board (or subreddits, as they are known) were made private in a show of solidarity against the measures.

But Ellen Pao took blame for the situation, saying she and the site have made a number of mistakes in recent years.

“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. When you’ve had feedback or requests, we haven’t always been responsive. The mods and the community have lost trust in me and in us, the administrators of reddit.”

“Today, we acknowledge this long history of mistakes. We are grateful for all you do for reddit, and the buck stops with me. We are taking three concrete steps.”

Pao has been under fire for weeks, dating back to the decision to ban a handful of subreddits, including the controversial board FatPeopleHate. Many users saw the move as censorship and protested, targeting Pao in particular.

Many of those hard feelings remain, and the latest controversy has again put Ellen Pao in the crosshairs. A small but vocal group on Reddit have been calling for her dismissal, and a Change.org petition calling for her to be fired has now surpassed 200,000 signatures.

But Ellen Pao has resisted calls for her head, and on Monday outlined a number of changes meant to make work easier for volunteer moderators. She also communicated directly with many users, explaining the rationale between some of the site’s decisions but not commenting on Taylor’s firing.

The answers didn’t go over well with everyone. Several of Ellen Pao’s comments received hundreds of downvotes, a voting system that many users take as a sign of disagreement.

[Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]