Reddit turmoil continues: 4th senior female employee departs

In less than a month, four high-ranking women, including the CEO, have left Reddit.

The most recent employee to depart is Jessica Moreno, Reddit’s Director of Community, who had been at the company for four years. Her departure, first reported by tech media site Re/code, comes on the heels of Ellen Pao’s resignation; the former CEO stepped down on July 10 after a tumultuous eight-month tenure that ended with a week of ceaseless and vicious criticism from Redditors, which often included harassment about her gender and race. She was also frequently targeted by Reddit’s more rancorous users because of her high-profile gender discrimination lawsuit against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which she lost in March.

Moreno said on Reddit that her decision to leave was based on personal reasons, and a desire to spend time with her family. She is moving to Salt Lake City, according to Reddit. There is not a date set yet for her departure; however, Reddit has already chosen a successor for the head of community position.

Moreno rejected suggestions that the internal upheaval at Reddit or gender discrimination had anything to do with her exit:

I did not make an announcement as I’m a really private person. I don’t like attention and having the media involved is super uncomfortable : ( There is a transition in place. I am working with Spez (CEO Steve Huffman) and the new head of community as I leave. I don’t want to announce the person since I’m not sure if they are ready yet. That will be it’s own announcement. Re/code makes it sound like I left abruptly but I haven’t. My departure has to do with my own life outside of work and nothing internal at reddit. It has nothing to do with the policy changes or being a woman. The author couched facts between sentences meant to inspire speculation. I have really loved being with reddit and I’m sad to go. Staying just doesn’t work with the rest of my life right now. I just want to clear up any speculation or misconceptions about this. I assure you that you will be in good hands after I leave. Better than my own, actually.


Moreno and her husband, Dan McComas, joined the company in 2011 when their gift-exchange service, RedditGifts, was acquired by Reddit. The company planned to wait to announce Moreno’s departure, but the news was leaked.

Moreno’s exit comes less than a month after Victoria Taylor, a well-liked employee who oversaw Reddit’s popular Ask Me Anything question-and-answer sessions, was fired without warning or explanation to the Reddit community. Pao apologized, but the Reddit revolt was well on its way.

Then, just days after Pao’s resignation, engineering chief Bethanye Blount left the company after less than two months on the job. Blount told Re/code she felt Reddit couldn’t deliver on the promises it was making publicly related to community management and harassing content; these promises include addressing harassing comments and content. Blount told Reddit discrimination was not a factor in her departure.

Two weeks ago, newly appointed CEO Steve Huffman rolled out new policies aimed at eliminating hate speech, bullying and harassment on the site. A forum devoted to content about raping women will be banned, he said, but not one devoted to racist content.

Image: Reddit logo


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