After weeks of messy protests which saw Reddit, one of the internet's largest communities, lose users due to a string of poorly made decisions, interim CEO Ellen Pao has resigned. Former CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman will replace her.
While board member and Y Combinator president Sam Altman said "She did an incredible job, she stepped into a really messy situation," it remains unclear why Pao was brought in to be CEO in the first place given she was obviously under-qualified and had just attempted to extort her former employer in a very public lawsuit which she eventually lost.
At the time of her hiring Pao was an underperforming lower-level associate at influential venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers who had never run a large company was not particularly well regarded in the tech community.
It also remains unclear just how incredible a job she did after a recent string of policy decisions, including the firing of popular employee Victoria Taylor, led to a mass revolt against the site and spawned a host of competitors.
Pao, who became interim CEO in November 2014, claimed the decision to resign was mutual after failing to agree with the board on how fast Reddit is able to grow its user base.
Yet the decision was clearly aided by an online petition calling for Pao's resignation which collected more than 200,000 signatures in a matter of days. The rapid push by the community to get rid of Pao underscores the frustrations about a lack of communication between the site's owner's and its moderators, who are critical to the site yet are unpaid volunteers.
While some of the company's new policies, such as removing communities about fat shaming, racism and revenge porn, are clearly long needed the changes also saw many other more grey area communities shut down which threatened the site's reputation as an influential forum for open expression.
Many Reddit users openly complained about the lack of clarity surrounding the company's policies.
It remains to be seen if the community and its strangely acting board of directors can undo the damage of the Pao era before users flee to other competitors. For more information on Ellen Pao and her attempted extortion, check out our coverage here and here.