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Reddit CEO Ellen Pao resigns after firestorm

Reddit interim CEO Ellen Pao has resigned after a revolt by much of her message board company's own community base. That revolt included a petition that ultimately gathered more 200,000 signatures calling for her ouster.

Pao got in hot water after Victoria Taylor, a popular employee who had managed Reddit's "Ask Me Anything" feature, was apparently let go. In response, Reddit moderators shut down hundreds of message boards in apparent protest of Taylor's dismissal.

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Ellen Pao Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

After a spokeswoman for Reddit told CBS MoneyWatch last week that Pao "has the full support of the team," that support apparently vanished on Friday.

Taking Pao's place as CEO will be Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman, who's a former CEO of Reddit.

A statement posted on Reddit by board member Sam Altman says Pao, who became interim CEO in November, resigned from Reddit by mutual agreement and will continue to advise the board for the rest of 2015. Altman also says Reddit moderators should have better tools and communication from the company.

Responding to the vitriol some Reddit message board moderators hurled at Pao after the Taylor incident, Altman added: "It was sickening to see some of the things redditors wrote about Ellen. The reduction in compassion that happens when we're all behind computer screens is not good for the world. People are still people even if there is Internet between you."

Pao became a Silicon Valley lightning rod during the landmark lawsuit that pitted her against the storied venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which she had accused of discriminating against her. While Kleiner Perkins prevailed in the case, Pao's lawsuit raised questions about how women in technology are treated and the lack of diversity in the industry.

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