Ellen Pao, interim chief executive of the popular messaging board, Reddit, announced Friday her decision to step down from her position, reports the New York Times.
This announcement comes after a week of criticisms from angry users following the dismissal of Victoria Taylor, a well-liked employee of Reddit. Many users in the Reddit community, which consist of more than 160 million, called for Pao’s dismissal after Taylor was let go with no public explanation.
With the community in turmoil, some users created an online petition calling for Pao’s removal. The petition garnered more than 200,000 signatures.
Pao apologized earlier this week for the incident and the past several years for losing the trust of the site users. Her decision to step down, however, is due to a disagreement with Reddit board’s future plans.
“It became clear that the board and I had a different view on the ability of Reddit to grow this year,” Ms. Pao said in an interview. “Because of that, it made sense to bring someone in that shared the same view.”
Co-founder Steve Huffman, who started Reddit more than a decade ago with Alexis Ohanian in Boston, will replace Pao. Pao said she will remain as an adviser to Reddit’s board for the remainder of the year.
Pao is a controversial figure in the Silicon Valley, after losing a gender discrimination suit in March against her former employer, venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Her case brought to attention the need for diversity in the tech industry.
The leadership change comes as Reddit continues to expand as one of the most frequented websites in the United States.
Read the full story in the New York Times.