The chaos at Reddit continues: chief engineer Bethanye Blount quit Monday after less than two months on the job, saying she’s lost confidence in the direction of the company and believes ousted CEO Ellen Pao was set up to fail.
Blount—who was hired by Pao—is the third prominent female employee to leave the company this month. She’s also the first to comment directly on the issues brewing behind the scenes that apparently led to Pao’s resignation announcement following the abrupt firing of AMA moderator Victoria Taylor.
Blount tells Recode her decision to leave just days after Pao’s ouster was influenced by “promises being made to the community,” that she felt she would be unable to deliver on—promises that involved harassing comments and conduct on the site.
“I feel like there are going be some big bumps on the road ahead for Reddit,” Blount said. “Along the way, there are some very aggressive implied promises being made to the community — in comments to mods, quotes from board members — and they’re going have some pretty big challenges in meeting those implied promises.”
Blount also said she believed Pao’s exit was an indirect consequence of gender discrimination, and that Pao had been placed on a “glass cliff.” It is a term used to describe women being set up for failure by being put in leadership roles during crises.
“Victoria wasn’t on a glass cliff. But it’s hard for me to see it any other way than Ellen was,” Blount said. However, she added that “I wouldn’t say my decision to leave was directly related to my gender.”
Steve Huffman, a former CEO tapped to replace Pao, says Reddit does not have a gender discrimination problem and says he’s looking to place more women in leadership positions within the company. He reportedly plans to replace Blount’s position, at least temporarily, with former team leader George Pang.