Ohanian leaves Reddit’s board of directors; asks to be replaced by black candidate

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Alexis Ohanian at The Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival at Spring Studios on May 21, 2019 in New York.

Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images

Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian said Friday June 5 that he had resigned from the company’s board of directors and urged them to replace his seat with a black candidate. The move comes as protests of police violence and racism continue across the United States, following the murder of George Floyd, a black man who died after being pinned down by police officers in Minneapolis.

“I think a resignation may be an act of leadership by people in power, right now,” Ohanian said in a statement posted on social media and on his own website. “To all who fight to fix our broken nation: do not stop.”

Ohanian, who is married to tennis star Serena Williams, cited his family as one of the reasons for his resignation. “I am doing this for myself, my family, and my country. I write this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks, ‘What did you do?'”

The reddit co-founder said he will also use future earnings from his Reddit actions to serve the black community, starting with a $ 1 million donation to former American football player Colin Kaepernick’s Know Your Rights Camp.

Ohanian co-founded the social media site with Steve Huffman in 2005. After selling the company in 2006, Ohanian returned to Reddit in 2015. In 2018, he quit his daily duties, although he remained on the company directory.

Ohanian’s resignation comes after receiving several criticisms from former CEO Ellen Pao for helping to “amplify” hatred and racism.

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