Ellen Pao May Have Stepped Down, But Can Co-Founder Steve Huffman Hold On To Subreddits As CEO?

Ellen Pao submitted her resignation amidst rising discord from Reddit contributors. Though Steve Huffman, Reddit co-founder and its original CEO, is taking over immediately, it will be an uphill task for him to pacify the large community as he himself hasn’t held official post within his own company for quite some time.

Huffman said he was quite excited to come back to Reddit, reported the Guradian. But it is quite obvious that he is now under immense pressure to improve the likeability of the platform not just to the readers, but also from the contributors who are the primary reason for the excellent traction and relevance Reddit enjoys.

Speaking about his reentry, Huffman said, “I am a huge part of Reddit and Reddit is a huge part of me. I think it could be a community, ten times as large and I have a clear vision of how to get there.”

Interestingly, Huffman clarified that commercializing Reddit and turning it into a business for profit wasn’t an immediate priority, but “enabling Reddit to grow is”

Huffman categorically stated that much of what was being said about Ellen Pao was “ugly,” reported MSN.

“I don’t think Ellen been in a position to defend herself, It [is] okay for Redditors to be angry, but I thought some users crossed the line when it became personal.”

As Huffman Takes Back The Reins, It will Be A Difficult Task To Keep His Subreddits Happy

Pao not only stepped down as interim CEO, but she also lost her high-profile gender discrimination case against former employer Kleiner Perkins this year. Asked what she was going to do, Ellen Pao had a very practical answer.

“I am going to get some sleep. I have to figure it out, but I am going to take some time off.”

Pao’s resignation has been chalked up as “mutual agreement”, but it is quite apparent why she has stepped down. When a platform relies on thousands of hardworking contributors who aren’t paid for their untiring efforts, it is rather difficult to ignore their expectations.

These contributors curate majority of the content on Reddit. If these people start shutting down their sections in protest, some of the most influential and important parts of the site would quickly become stale and irrelevant, causing the site to take a huge hit in hits and readability.

“Subreddit leaders who perform the drudgery of running some of the Internet’s most prolific forums) who worked closely with Taylor say this will make their jobs harder, because they’re stretched thin already,” reported Recode.

As Huffman tries to fill the void left behind by Ellen Pao, he will have to enact some bold and pro-subreddit policies to bring his active contributors back.

[Image Credit | Getty Images, Wikipedia]