Reddit has announced the resignation of CEO Ellen Pao, known for a high-profile sex bias lawsuit against a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. The move comes amid a controversial discharge of Reddit's AMA moderator.
Reddit, known for its almost-anything goes style message board, announced on Friday that interim CEO Ellen Pao stepped down from her position "by mutual agreement."
"We are thankful for Ellen's many contributions to Reddit and the technology industry generally," said a statement from the online message board community.
"She brought focus to chaos, recruited a world-class team of executives and drove growth. She brought a face to Reddit that changed perceptions, and is a pioneer for women in the tech industry. She will remain as an advisor to the board through the end of 2015," the statement said.
Reddit added that the company's co-founder Steve Huffman would be appointed CEO, although Pao would stay on as an advisor to the board.
Pao is known for sparking a debate on sex bias in Silicon Valley when she filed a lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers - known for backing Amazon, Facebook and Google - after she was fired.
However, a scandal erupted when Reddit fired moderator Victoria Taylor, who helped run the site's popular "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) thread, which provided users the opportunity to ask live questions to celebrities and politicians, such as US President Barack Obama, American singer Madonna, and Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, among others.
The scandal followed a policy change to Reddit's content moderation, which included the announcement of anti-harassment guidelines in May. A handful of groups were kicked off the site in June for violating the rules announced the month before, a change from Reddit's foundational "almost-anything goes" ethos.
Reddit was co-founded in 2005 by Huffman and Alexis Ohanian and was subsequently acquired the year after by mass media company Conde Nast.
ls/bk (AP, AFP, dpa)