Reddit's chief engineer quits after less than two months on the job

In another blow to the online message board Reddit, the San Francisco company's chief engineer, Bethanye Blount, announced her resignation after less than two months on the job.

Blount’s resignation comes only days after the high-profile departure of Reddit’s interim chief executive, Ellen Pao, who stepped down last Friday, citing an inability to deliver on the board’s high user growth expectations “while maintaining Reddit’s core principles.”

Blount told tech news site Re-Code her departure was unrelated to Pao’s resignation; rather, like Pao, she left because she did not think she “could deliver on promises being made to the community.”

“I feel like there are going be some big bumps on the road ahead for Reddit,” Blount told Re-Code. “Along the way, there are some very aggressive implied promises being made to the community — in comments to mods, quotes from board members — and they’re going to have some pretty big challenges in meeting those implied promises.”

The “implied promises” include the creation of new tools for moderators and addressing harassment in Reddit’s comments and content.

Prior to joining Reddit in June, Blount worked at Facebook.

Blount is the third high-profile departure in a month from the online message board. In early July, the company revealed it fired talent director Victoria Taylor without explanation, leading to a revolt from the site’s volunteer moderators and users. 

In the wake of the departures and the reinstatement of Steve Huffman as CEO, Huffman said he will be hosting an Ask Me Anything event Thursday where he will field questions from members of the Reddit community.

"There has been a lot of discussion lately... about reddit’s policy on the more offensive and obscene content on our platform," Huffman said in a post published to Reddit. "Neither Alexis nor I created reddit to be a bastion of free speech, but rather as a place where open and honest discussion can happen: These are very complicated issues, and we are putting a lot of thought into it.

"Our top priority at Reddit is to develop a comprehensive Content Policy and the tools to enforce it. We as a community need to decide together what our values are."

Twitter: @traceylien

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