Former Reddit CEO Alleges Ellen Pao Was Set Up to Get Fired By Alexis Ohanian

Just when you thought the real-life “Game of Thrones” episode going on at Reddit was finished with Ellen Pao’s resignation, former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong dropped another plot twist on the internet: Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian was the one who fired Victoria Taylor, but Ellen Pao was the one who got burned.

On a subreddit discussing the possibility that Ellen Pao was not responsible for Victoria Taylor’s firing, former Reddit CEO Yishan Wong dropped this little twist:

“I’m glad redditors have started to piece together all of this. Here’s the only thing you’re missing:

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It travels upstream, except when it comes from the CEO’s boss.

Alexis wasn’t some employee reporting to Pao, he was the Executive Chairman of the Board, i.e. Pao’s boss. He had different ideas for AMAs, he didn’t like Victoria’s role, and decided to fire her. Pao wasn’t able to do anything about it. In this case it shouldn’t have traveled upstream to her, it came from above her.

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.

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I actually asked that he be on the board when I joined; I used to respect Alexis Ohanian. After this, not quite so much.”

Yishan served as CEO of Reddit until late last year when he reportedly quit over a dispute over office space. Pao took the reigns of interim CEO when he departed. Ohanian responded to Wong’s comment by saying:

“It saddens me to hear you say this, Yishan.

I did report to her, we didn’t handle it well, and again, I apologize.

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edit: I can’t comment on the specifics.”

Former Reddit exec Dan McComas previously stated that Ohanian did report to Pao and not the other way around, but Ohanian’s recent comments also hint that it was in fact his decision to fire Taylor which resulted in the chaos that ensued. Ohanian wrote, “It was my decision to change how we work with AMAs and the transition was my failure and I hope we can keep moving forward from that lesson.”

Wong replied back to Ohanian’s previous comment with:

“It wasn’t ‘we didn’t handle it well’ — Ellen actually handled things very well, and with quite a bit of grace given the prejudices arrayed against her and the situation she was put in – you didn’t handle it well. There was tremendous amounts of unnecessary damage done as a result, and we are only able to say that things might turn out ok because Huffman agreed to return and take up the mantle.”

Did Alexis Ohanian totally pull a Frank Underwood on Ellen Pao at Reddit? Right now it seems that Ellen Pao was the scapegoat for his chaotic restructuring of Reddit. Maybe Reddit’s co-founders are staging an epic comeback season and taking back control of their company.

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Source: Gawker
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