Can Steve Huffman Save Reddit From Itself?
J Thoendell stashed this in Tech
In an event that would come to be called AMAgeddon, a rolling blackout began, and by Friday night, moderators had shut off the lights in hundreds of the most popular sub-Reddits in protest. News spread to Huffman. “Seriously, like 50 people texted me and said you need to go back to Reddit,” he says. The next day, he was up in Sonoma for a friend’s 30th-birthday party, and “a lot of the conversation was, ‘What the hell is going on at Reddit right now?’ ”
Huffman had always thought he’d come back eventually. After then-CEO Yishan Wong left Reddit in late 2014, Ohanian had returned as executive chairman, and since then, he’d repeatedly asked his old friend to join him as CEO. Huffman had always declined, citing Hipmunk, but now he found himself scared for Reddit’s future. An insurrection was under way. “I felt like, This is getting out of control, I think it is reparable, but I need to do something now,” Huffman says. “That’s when I finally called and said, ‘Fine, I’ll do it.’ ” It was Sunday, and the first person he could reach by phone was board member Sam Altman.