Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian resigns from board and calls for a black candidate to replace him

Alexis Ohanian
(Image credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch)

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian has resigned from the company's board and called for a black candidate to be chosen as his replacement.

Ohanian, the husband of Serena Williams who co-founded Reddit in 2005, announced his decision on Friday amid the nationwide protests and outrage over the killing of George Floyd.

"It is long overdue to do the right thing," he said. "I'm doing this for me, for my family, and for my country."

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Ohanian said he has "urged" the company's board to pick a black candidate to fill his seat, and he's additionally pledged to use future gains on his Reddit stock "to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate," explaining that he's a father who "needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: 'What did you do?'" To start, he said he's donating $1 million to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp.

This announcement, Axios notes, comes after former Reddit CEO Ellen Pao put the company on blast in response to CEO Steve Huffman's statement supporting Black Lives Matter, calling on him to ban the popular pro-Trump section /r/The_Donald.

"You should have shut down the_donald instead of amplifying it and its hate, racism, and violence," Pao tweeted. "So much of what is happening now lies at your feet. You don't get to say BLM when reddit nurtures and monetizes white supremacy and hate all day long."

Ohanian in his announcement expressed his support for those protesting, writing, "To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop."

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Brendan Morrow

Brendan is a staff writer at The Week. A graduate of Hofstra University with a degree in journalism, he also writes about horror films for Bloody Disgusting and has previously contributed to The Cheat Sheet, Heavy, WhatCulture, and more. He lives in New York City surrounded by Star Wars posters.