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Reddit appoints Michael Seibel as new board member after Alexis Ohanian resignation

The Y Combinator CEO was recruited as Reddit fulfills its pledge to hire a black board member.

Michael Seibel Reddit
Michael Seibel has joined the Reddit board.
Reddit

Reddit has made good on its promise to hire a black board member to replace cofounder Alexis Ohanian, who quit last week in an effort to push the platform to become more diverse. Michael Seibel has joined the board of directors, Reddit announced Wednesday. 

Seibel is CEO of seed capital firm Y Combinator, which helped launch Reddit, and he's advised and funded almost 2,000 startups. He is known for pushing diversity and inclusion in the startup world.

The new Reddit board member, who holds a political science degree from Yale, previously served as finance director for former NAACP president Kweisi Mfume's Senate campaign in 2006. He also cofounded the startups Justin.tv, which later became Twitch and was sold to Amazon for $970 million, and Socialcam, a video platform that was sold to Autodesk.

Ohanian announced his resignation from the Reddit board on June 5, urging the company to fill his seat with a black candidate. His resignation followed criticism of Reddit on June 2 from former CEO Ellen Pao for "amplifying" racism and hate

Reddit promised to honor Ohanian's request and will also change its content policy to "explicitly address hate," Reddit co-founder Steve Huffman said in a blog post Friday. 

Ohanian, Huffman and Aaron Swartz cofounded the social networking site in 2005. After selling the company in 2006, Ohanian returned to Reddit in 2015. In 2018, he stepped away from daily duties but remained on Reddit's board. 

"I've known Steve and Alexis since 2007 and have been a Reddit user ever since," Seibel said in a statement Wednesday. "Over this period of time I've watched Reddit become part of the core fabric of the internet and I'm excited to help provide advice and guidance."

His appointment comes as Black Lives Matter protests continue across the US and globally as people demonstrate against the recent deaths of George FloydBreonna Taylor and Ahmaud Arbery, and against systemic racism. 

Black Lives Matter. Visit blacklivesmatter.carrd.co to learn how to donate, sign petitions and protest safely.

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