Reddit's chief executive resigns, co-founder returns to helm

Reddit's chief executive has resigned after 2-1/2 years with the company

Reddit's chief executive, Yishan Wong, has resigned after 2-1/2 years with the company, the online media powerhouse announced Thursday.

Chief Operating Officer Ellen Pao will serve as interim chief executive. The change signals a shift back to the company's roots, with co-founder Alexis Ohanian returning as executive chairman. He will handle marketing, communications and strategy.

Wong, an avid Reddit user since 2005, joined the company in 2012 and previously worked as Facebook’s director of engineering and as PayPal's engineering manager. Reddit had recently split from Conde Nast, hunting for its chief executive from within the ranks of existing users. 

Reddit raised $50 million in September at a $500-million valuation. Now 9 years old, the self-described "front page of the Internet" has grown from 35 million unique visitors to about 174 million unique visitors per month and 6 billion monthly page views.

Ohanian launched Reddit with Steve Huffman in June 2005. He left his position with Reddit to volunteer for a nonprofit organization in Armenia in 2010, serving Reddit only in an advisory role. 

Wong's reasons for leaving are unclear. Reddit investor Sam Altman said Wong's departure was triggered by a disagreement with the board over the location and amount of money spent on a new office.

"To be clear, though, we didn’t ask or suggest that he resign—he decided to when we didn’t approve the new office plan," Altman said in a blog post.

Reddit appointed Dan McComas, the head of Reddit’s gift exchange program, as the company’s senior vice president of product. He and his team will move to San Francisco and unite with the rest of Reddit after joining the company three years ago. 

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