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ellen pao

'I'm just another human': Reddit boss hits out at abuse as she steps down

Ellen Pao had faced a revolt from some users of the website in the past month.

Updated 2pm

REDDIT’S EMBATTLED CEO Ellen Pao has stepped down after a brief but stormy tenure at the helm of online bulletin board Reddit.

Pao faced a revolt from the site’s moderators after firing the website’s director of talent Victoria Taylor.

Hundreds individual communities on the website, called subreddits, were made private and inaccessible to the public.

Pao has also faced criticism from some parts of the Reddit community since taking over as CEO over her efforts to clamp down on abuse and close controversial sections of the website, currently the 31st most visited on the web.

In a post last night on Reddit, Pao said she was resigning after the board asked her “to demonstrate higher user growth in the next six months than I believe I can deliver while maintaining reddit’s core principles”.

“In my eight months as reddit’s CEO, I’ve seen the good, the bad and the ugly on reddit,” she wrote.

The good has been off-the-wall inspiring, and the ugly made me doubt humanity.

She stressed that the the positives have “far outshone the hate”, but hit out at the abuse she received:

I just want to remind everyone that I am just another human; I have a family, and I have feelings. Everyone attacked on reddit is just another person like you and me. When people make something up to attack me or someone else, it spreads, and we eventually will see it. And we will feel bad, not just about what was said. Also because it undercuts the authenticity of reddit and shakes our faith in humanity.

Pao previously who made headlines with a high-profile Silicon Valley gender discrimination lawsuit.

Silicon Valley Sexual Discrimination Associated Press Associated Press

She took over earlier this year as Reddit CEO after being fired from the prominent venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers, prompting a highly publicized lawsuit.

Reddit, which has more than 163 million users and describes itself as a forum for real-time journalism, said in a statement that Pao resigned “by mutual agreement” and would be replaced by founder and original CEO Steve Huffman.

“We are thankful for Ellen’s many contributions to Reddit and the technology industry generally,” the statement said.

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.

A California jury rejected Pao’s charges of gender discrimination against KPCB in a closely-watched case seen by some as a proxy trial of Silicon Valley sex bias.

The state court jury found KPCB did not discriminate against Pao, who claimed she was fired after complaining about bias at the firm that notably backed Amazon, Facebook and Google. Pao has said she will appeal.

Additional reporting © AFP, 2015Originally published 10.43pm

Read: Sections of Reddit have been shut down over a protest >

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