Reddit co-founder Ohanian resigns from board, urges company to replace him with a black candidate

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    Alexis Ohanian holds daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. following the women’s singles match between his wife, Serena Williams, and Katie Boulter of Great Britain during day six of the 2019 Hopman Cup at RAC Arena on January 03, 2019 in Perth, Australia.

    Paul Kane | Getty Images Sport | Getty Images

    Reddit Co-founder Alexis Ohanian on Friday announced his resignation from the company’s board, saying he was stepping down and urging the company to replace him with a black candidate.

    “I’m writing this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: ‘What did you do?'” Ohanian wrote in a blog post

    Ohanian, who is married to professional tennis player Serena Williams, also committed to using future gains from his Reddit stock to serve the black community and focus on curbing racial hate. To start, Ohanian said he would donate $1 million to former NFL player and activist Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

    “I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now. To everyone fighting to fix our broken nation: do not stop,” Ohanian said. 

    Reddit plans to honor Ohanian’s request that his board seat be filled by a black candidate, CEO and Co-founder Steve Huffman said in a post on Friday. Huffman thanks Ohanian for his service to the company, and he added that Reddit will update its content policy, which will include a statement on hate.

    “Despite making significant progress over the years, we have to turn a mirror on ourselves and be willing to do the hard work of making sure we are living up to our values in our product and policies,” Huffman said in his post. 

    Ohanian co-founded Reddit in 2005. After selling the company to Conde Nast in 2006, Ohanian and co-founder Steve Huffman returned to the company full time in 2015. Ohanian stepped back from a day-to-day role in 2018 while continuing to serve on the board.