New Reddit CEO Steve Huffman Hosts AMA: Says Pao Was Not A 'Scapegoat,' Addresses Victoria Taylor Firing

Tara West

The Reddit community went into a downward spiral after the firing of beloved Reddit employee Victoria Taylor. Taylor was popular with the volunteer moderators who help run the Reddit community and was best known for her work with Ask Me Anything posts on the site. Taylor became synonymous with the section and was the go-between for moderators and high-profile guests.

However, Victoria was unexpectedly let go, and many Reddit moderators fired back by taking down their subreddits in protest. This was the straw that broke the camel's back for former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao, who resigned amidst what many are calling the "Reddit Revolt." Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman has taken over the role as CEO and attempted to address some of the community's issues in an AMA held on his first day on the job.

The AMA with Steve Huffman began with a short introduction and then an inundation of questions regarding the future of Reddit, Ellen Pao's resignation, and the firing of beloved employee Victoria Taylor. Huffman was asked if Ellen Pao was used as a "scapegoat" for Reddit's internal problems, and he responded that "problems flow up."

"No, Ellen was not used as a scapegoat. She stepped up during a time of crisis for reddit, for which we were thankful. Things didn't go smoothly, for sure, but I will do my best to guide us forward. It's hard to imagine she was [responsible], but responsibility flows up. I'm sure there will be times I've got to take it on the chin as well. Part of the gig."

Huffman was also asked if Victoria Taylor may be reinstated to her former position, and the answer was a firm no. However, the CEO was sure to point out that she was let go for specific reasons, and that Reddit plans to dedicate people internally to managing relationships with moderators.

"No. I know she was well-loved by many moderators, and I'm very sorry at how everything played out. It could have been handled much better. However, she was let go for specific reasons, which I obviously will not share, and we will stand by that decision. What we will absolutely do is make sure we have dedicate people internally to help manage the relationships between moderators and guests on reddit."

Huffman notes that though the company is working to monetize the site in new ways, they will not do so at the expense of the community as they have plenty of cash.

"Reddit has a lot of cash. Monetization isn't a short-term concern of ours. Yes, we will continue to experiment with different efforts so that when time is right we know what works and what does not."

Not all questions were serious in the Huffman AMA. In true Reddit fashion, the group also used the opportunity to poke fun at the current Greek debt crisis.

A user asked, "Is it okay if we use reddit gold as our Greek Currency?" with Huffman responding, "Would be about as effective......"

What do you think of Steve Huffman stepping up as CEO of the company he helped found in this time of crisis? Do you think the community will rebound with the feeling of Reddit getting back to its roots?

[Image Credit: YouTube via Mashable]

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