Alexis Ohanian, the co-Founder of one of the most popular websites in the world Reddit Inc. has declared his departure from the organization’s board of directors and urged the company to substitute him with a black candidate.
Mr. Ohanian has an on-off relationship with the company which has had its own sets of controversies. He had moved on from day-to-day engagements with Reddit in 2018 but continued to be a member of its board.
“I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now,” he wrote on Twitter. “To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop.”
In acknowledgment to Mr. Ohanian, Reddit co-founder and CEO Steve Huffman affirmed that the organization will honor its former board member’s plea to replace him with a black director. Huffman also pointed out that the organization would take a tougher stand against racism. He updated that Reddit is still figuring out the specifics of its new policy.
In a video, Ohanian responded, “I’m saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks what did you do. So, I have resigned as a member of the Reddit board. I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate and I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate.” Mr. Ohanian is wedded to tennis star Serena Williams and has a 2-year-old daughter.
In a post to Reddit yesterday, current CEO Huffman said the site will alter how it manages racist comments. “In 2018, I confusingly said racism is not against the rules but also isn’t welcome on Reddit. This gap between our content policy and our values has eroded our effectiveness in combating hate and racism on Reddit; I accept full responsibility for this,” Huffman addressed.
Ohanian also told he would pledge $1 million to Know Your Rights Camp, a nonprofit established by Colin Kaepernick, the NFL star who has been shunned by the league for peacefully protesting for black rights.
“It is long overdue to do the right thing. I’m doing this for me, for my family, and for my country.” Ohanian said in the video that was included in his Twitter thread yesterday. A spokeswoman for Ohanian’s venture capital firm Initialized Capital declined to make him available for comment.