Reddit Saga: Chief Engineer’s Resignation Not Due To Gender Discrimination
Popular online community Reddit loses another key figure as its chief engineer Bethanye Blount resigned from post days after the interim CEO Ellen Pao announced she stepped down.
Blount cited her reasons for leaving as being unable to “deliver on promises being made to the community.”
“I feel like there are going be some big bumps on the road ahead for Reddit. 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,” Blount said, referring to Reddit’s announcement after Pao left that the board will improve tools, among others.
While the former chief engineer denied Taylor’s dismissal was related to gender discrimination, she categorically stated Pao resigned “as an indirect consequence of gender discrimination.”
“Victoria wasn’t on a glass cliff. But it’s hard for me to see it any other way than Ellen was. I wouldn’t say my decision to leave was directly related to my gender,” Blount elaborated.
In an interview with Reddit’s CEO Steve Huffman, re/code reports Huffman denied Blount’s resignation had anything to do with her gender.
“Bethanye’s departure had nothing to do with gender, and I was looking forward to working with her. The company is growing, and we have the opportunity to improve in many areas—including the number of women in leadership positions. I am confident in our ability to recruit women at the executive level, as we have made a point to do so at Hipmunk, where more than half of the executives are women,” Huffman said.
Huffman also shared his return to Reddit entails implementing new content policy and improving tools for moderation, re/code reports. He also said Blount’s post will be handled temporarily by George Pang until Reddit found a new chief engineer.
The turmoil in Reddit began when a talent director Victoria Taylor posted about her dismissal but did not elaborate on how and why. Redditors and volunteer moderators took Taylor’s post as a termination and staged an online protest, seeking for Pao’s resignation. Days later, Pao threw in the towel, which should have ended the crisis.