A new shuffle in leadership at online microblogging site Reddit has ushered in interim CEO Ellen Pao, who has become the company’s new face just three months before her high-profile sex discrimination case is set to appear before a San Francisco Superior Court.
In 2012, Pao sued her previous employer, the venture capital firm Kleiner, Perkins, Caulfied & Byers, alleging she had been pressed into having sex with a junior partner there and was blocked from advancing to a more lucrative position at the company after she complained about the forced encounter. Pao claimed retaliation from upper management for reporting the act.
However, Kleiner, Perkins, et al had reportedly cited Pao’s allegations as being without merit, according to SiliconValley.com.
A 2012 report on social networking demographics revealed that Reddit’s user base is 65% male.
“Speaking as a board member and the executive chairman, I’m hopeful this is not an interim position,” said Alexis Ohanion, expressing his intent to see Pao, a former venture capitalist (VC), become Reddit’s permanent CEO. Ohanion has reportedly returned to Reddit as a full-time executive chairman, notes SiliconValley.com.
Pao reportedly replaced Reddit CEO Yishan Wong after he resigned three weeks ago in light of a tumultuous dispute over relocating the company to it’s new San Francisco office and how much to spend on a lease. Wong has been credited with growing Reddit to the over three million unique users the site currently enjoys and with raising $50 million for the company in September of this year, which sparked the company’s relocation to Northern California.
Prior to their investment surge, Reddit had reportedly kept a distance from the VC world and had raised just $80,000 in seed funding.
Additional discontent was cited throughout the Reddit community when the company’s upper management — including former CEO Wong — required employees to relocate to San Francisco from places such as Utah, SiliconValley.com writes. The issue was laced in claims from employees that Reddit had not paid them enough to make the move to one of the most expensive markets in the United States.
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