Despite Ellen Pao's resignation as CEO of the online forum Reddit—after she had implemented changes to the company—the comeback of former CEO Steve Huffman will least likely alter the changes that Pao had made.

After Pao stepped down, Reddit board member Sam Altman announced that the post will be taken over by Huffman, who co-founded the company.

"Product and community are the two legs of Reddit, and the board was very focused on finding a candidate who excels at both," wrote Altman in a Reddit post, noting that those are two things that Huffman does. It was convenient for Reddit to have him back as CEO, with his 10-year history with the company.

"First, I'm super excited. Second, I am terrified," said Huffman, who is chief technology officer at the travel startup Hipmunk.

Huffman is the original CEO of Reddit but, for several years, has had no official role in the company.

According to Huffman, Pao was "not used as a scapegoat." In her eight months as Reddit CEO, Pao has made important decisions that Huffman plans to stick with. Two of these most earth-shaking decisions were taking out malicious threads and removing Victoria Taylor, the well-loved Reddit moderator who coordinated the forum's Ask Me Anything sessions.

Huffman further stressed that Reddit will not tolerate forums promoting bullying, sexism and racism. As for the firing of Taylor, Huffman stated the moderator was let go for reasons he could not disclose to the public.

The decision to fire Taylor has caused much outrage among Redditors, even leading to a petition that demanded Pao's resignation. Her departure, however, was "by mutual agreement," Altman pointed out.

"We are thankful for Ellen's many contributions to Reddit and the technology industry generally," stated Altman. He recounted how this "pioneer for women in the tech industry" brought in a team of world-class executives, drove growth and put much attention to chaos. Change in perception was among her most important contributions to the company.

Pao also recently lost to her former employer, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byer, in a gender discrimination lawsuit claiming that she was fired because of being a woman. She will remain an adviser to the board at Reddit until the end of 2015.

In its continued efforts to monetize its community and bring down rampant bullying, racism and sexism without fringing on free speech, Reddit will create guidelines to "preserve its integrity" and keep the online forum as a place for the most open and honest conversations.

Photo: Christopher Michel | Flickr

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