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Reddit CEO Yishan Wong Resigns, November 2014

Stashed in: Reddit!, YCombinator, Quora!, Awesome, Bill Gates, Active Users, Steve Ballmer

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"The disagreement had to do with the location and the amount of money to spend on a lease and Wong decided to leave after Reddit's board didn't approve his plan, Altman writes.  

In October, after the company raised $50 million in new funding, Reddit employees had to either relocate to the company's San Francisco office or leave the company, The New York Times reports. "

Co-founder Alexis Ohanian is now employed full time by Reddit as its executive chairman.

Reading this blog post...

...we discover that Sam Altman (the YCombinator President) has been Reddit CEO for the last 8 days.

In that time Reddit added more new users than Hacker News has in total.

Alexis Ohanian blog post about the transition:

As of right now, Reddit has entirely new leadership:

Ellen Pao will be stepping up to be interim CEO. Because of her combination of vision, execution, and leadership, I expect that she’ll do an incredible job.

Alexis Ohanian, who cofounded reddit nine and a half years ago, is returning as full-time executive chairman (he will transition to a part-time partner role at Y Combinator). He will be responsible for marketing, communications, strategy, and community.

There is a long history of founders returning to companies and doing great things. Alexis probably knows the reddit community better than anyone else on the planet. He had the original product vision for the company and I’m excited he’ll get to finish the job. Founders are able to set the vision for their companies with an authority no one else can.

Dan McComas will become SVP Product. Dan founded redditgifts, where in addition to building a great product he built a great culture, and has already been an integral part of the reddit team—I look forward to seeing him impact the company more broadly.

Sam Altman in the Hacker News thread:

I realize that this sounds non-credible (and it's certainly one of the craziest professional things I've ever been a part of), but it's actually what happened.

Yishan wanted to move the office from SF to Daly City. The board pushed back but said we'd agree to it with certain data (we wanted Yishan to figure out how many employees would stay with the company through the move, get a comparison to other market rents, etc.--all questions I think a board should ask when thinking through a major commitment).

This is certainly not what I was expecting to be dealing with so quickly after investing in reddit, but we'll make the best of it.

200 Hacker News comments:

Previously from @sama: "Yishan Wong has a big vision for what reddit can be. I’m excited to watch it play out."

That was September 30:

Things really can change quickly.

More information from Dan Primack:

Some high-order bits:

1. Reddit now has 175 million users.

2. Monetization: RedditMade (custom products made by users) and RedditGifts (a giant online Secret Santa program).

3. Pao says that, upon joining Reddit last year, the thing that surprised her most was the “depth of connections” people make on Reddit, particularly people who don’t share geography, ethnicity or other normally-bonding demographics.

I think Reddit has a bright future ahead :)

Reddit is one of my favorite websites. Why do you think it has a bright future?

First off, I love the community on Reddit. Almost anyone can meet a cool like minded crowd for whatever they like to geek out about (for me this is cars). Earlier this year I was able to stream the 24 hours of LeMans with multiple camera views LIVE from Europe in a way that put our broadcast TV to shame... and that was all thanks to Reddit users.

Second, Alexis, Ellen, and Sam are all super nice people with big hearts and I think they are embracing what a beautiful community Reddit has and they are ready to continue nurturing it!

Steve Ballmer was on there yesterday.

Bill Gates was on there a few weeks ago.

The boston marathon bombing updates were on Reddit first.

Reddit is like a topic-centric group forum that has amazing nuggets of information. Once you have found one nugget, you keep finding more!

I've never met Alexis or Sam but I appreciate your perspective.

I did not realize Steve Ballmer was there -- just found his AMA:

And I found this great Bill Gates video for Reddit too:

Yishan Wong's explanation on Quora about why he left Reddit:

This part resonated with me:

If there is a deeper reason, it is this:The job as CEO of reddit is incredibly stressful and draining.  After two and a half years, I'm basically completely worn out, and it was having significantly detrimental effects on my personal life.  If anything, I probably pushed myself way too far - as a first-time CEO, all I knew was that such jobs are supposed to be stressful, so I never really had a good baseline, i.e. how stressful is too stressful, until multiple outside people and coaches I was working with remarked to me that I looked incredibly worn down for months on end and it wasn't supposed to be this hard.

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