Sunday, July 12, 2015
WHY REDDIT WAS RIGHT TO GET RID OF ELLEN PAO
I am not a big Reddit contributor more of a lurker in some of the sub reddits about political philosophy and comic books but I do appreciate Reddit especially its freedom and its ability to provide a place where all kinds of people can interact with each other.
I think Reddit made the right choice in getting rid of Ellen Pao as their interim CEO. She was not up to the job and many of the business decisions she made were bad. The arguments she was let go due to sexism seem to me silly at best.
1.) Pao was only interim CEO. She was never confirmed. By its very title, that is a temporary position.
2.) Pao's efforts to "clean-up" Reddit by tackling hate speech and other problems failed miserably. In addition to stifling free speech, her efforts were very haphazard - For example groups making fun of fat people were banned but those making fun of skinny people were allowed to stay. Also very little crackdown on Islamophobic postings.
3.)The firing of Victoria Taylor was a travesty. She did an excellent job with the AMA events and overall was one of the good guys at Reddit. Pao may not have been directly responsible for her firing but she is CEO so the buck must stop somewhere.
4.) A number of the corporate decisions she made were questionable at best especially eliminating salary negotiation ability for employees under the ridiculous premise that this is sexist..
Pao's sexual harassment suit against her prior employer Kleiner Perkins seemed to me totally bogus and without merit. The court's decision was right in that case as there seemed to be no evidence to back up her version of events. In addition, her husband is a grifter who has his own history of filing bogus lawsuits as well as running a Ponzi scheme.
The irony of Ellen Pao's lawsuit against Kleiner Perkins is she felt they deliberately sidelined her when she could have been a great manager. When she got the chance to run Reddit she did a terrible job. Hopefully she won't blame this on others like she blamed everything else in her past.
Reddit has great potential. Here's hoping they can find someone to maximize it.