Is Yishan Wong the next Steve Jobs
Users are pushing the Reddit boss out of her job
News sites like Süddeutsche.de entertain their users every day with funny, bizarre or controversial topics from the depths of the internet. Somebody on the planet uploaded a video, like a kitten cuddling with an eagle owl. The video is clicked, commented, and linked thousands of times - cash for advertising-financed websites. Such content is found with a click guarantee on sites like Reddit.com.
Reddit lives from its users. They upload their own content to the site or link to posts that they have found on the Internet and they comment on and rate the posts of others. With almost 164 million visitors a month, Reddit is one of the most successful internet portals in the world.
Now the users have used their power to push the CEO of the internet company out of her job. Ellen Pao resigned on Friday. Co-founder Steve Huffman returns to the helm of the company, which is largely owned by the publishing giant Condé Nast (Cubit).
The reason was the dismissal of a popular employee
Pao, who has long been criticized, recently triggered violent protests by important users with a controversial dismissal, which largely paralyzed the website for a few days.
The trigger was the dismissal of Victoria Taylor, who supervised the popular "Ask Me Anything" questionnaires for celebrities and also took care of the numerous moderators of the online network. These mostly volunteer workers play a key role for Reddit.
They also let it be felt by switching their forums to "private" and thus making them invisible to the public.
Pao apologized a few days ago for the way the controversial personnel decision was made, but by then the user revolt was already in full swing. A petition demanding their replacement found more than 200,000 supporters.
Pao had enforced a tougher course against rabble
However, the conflict between Pao and parts of the Reddit community went deeper. The manager had enforced a tougher course against threats, hostility and harassment on the website in mid-May. That didn't go down well with some users.
This faction attacked Pao violently even before the dispute over Taylor. Reddit board of directors Sam Altman said the split was amicable. Pao should remain with the management as a consultant until the end of the year.
Pao was eight months at the top of Reddit and had been hired as interim boss. Her predecessor, Yishan Wong, left in November after the controversy over the publication of stolen nude photos of celebrities by users of the platform.
Second big setback for Pao in a short time
Pao told technology blog Recode that she and the board of directors disagree about Reddit's growth potential. "You had a more aggressive view of things than I did." For Pao it is the second major setback in just a few months. She had recently lost a discrimination lawsuit against her former employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins.
Pao had accused one of the top addresses in Silicon Valley of having disadvantaged her because she was his wife. However, she couldn't convince the jury. The process of washing dirty laundry attracted a lot of attention. Pao is still keeping an appeal open, according to the current status she should reimburse Kleiner Perkins legal costs of a good 275,000 dollars.
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