The mystery over Victoria Taylor’s termination begins to take form with former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong’s disclosure late Sunday that it was the site’s co-founder Alexis Ohanian who was behind Taylor’s dismissal. But Ellen Pao, being the then-interim CEO, was the one who took “the heat.”
Ellen Pao recently announced her resignation following a raging online petition for her to step down, after Taylor was reported to have been fired over a post at Reddit.
“He had different ideas for AMAs, he didn’t like Victoria’s role, and decided to fire her,” Yishan added.
“Pao wasn’t able to do anything about it. In this case, it should have traveled upstream to her, it came from above her,” he continued.
According to Wong, Ohanian should have been “out front and center” in owning up to Taylor’s termination.
“Then when the hate-train started up against Pao, Alexis should have been out front and center saying very clearly ‘Ellen Pao did not make this decision, I did.’ Instead, he just sat back and let her take the heat. That’s a stunning lack of leadership and an incredibly shitty thing to do,” said Wong.
Two days ago, Wong posted on Reddit a conspiracy theory that ended up in Pao’s termination. In that post, Wong said the two founders of Reddit, reinstated CEO Steve Huffman and Ohanian, plotted with some allies on Y-Combinator in taking back Reddit.
“Together with Sam Altman, they recruited a young up-and-coming technology manager with social media credentials. Alexis, who was on the interview panel for the new Reddit CEO, would reject all other candidates except this one,” Wong said, referring to Pao, who according to the post was to insist a condition that Conde Nast would have to sell huge ownership of Reddit and use the funds in hiring top talent, and that in turn, will bring in Silicon Valley, which will have a hands-on right in running Reddit.
“After continuing to grow the company, he would then further dilute Conde Nast’s ownership by raising money from a syndicate of Silicon Valley investors led by Sam Altman, now the President of Y-Combinator itself, who in the process would take a seat on the board,” Wong remarked.
Reddit was founded on June 23, 2005 by Huffman and Ohanian and was later sold to Conde Nast Publications after more than a year. It has since become a popular anarchic site.