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Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian steps down but stays on board

The social network's executive chairman said he's stepping away from daily duties at Reddit, but said he believes Reddit is in good shape.

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Reddit cofounder Alexis Ohanian said he's going to focus on his venture firm.
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A Reddit cofounder is signing off. Kinda.

Alexis Ohanian, the 34-year-old cofounder of the popular social networking site, said he's stepping away from daily duties at Reddit in order to focus on his attention on Initialized Capital, an early-stage venture firm he also cofounded seven years ago. The Wall Street Journal was first to report the move.

"We aspire to be the kind of investors we wish we'd had when we were founders," he said in a statement posted to his venture firm's site. "After more than three years of serving back at Reddit, my first 'baby' is in a much better place and has a great team in place."

Reddit, the sixth-most trafficked site on the web and often referred to as "the front page of the internet," has struggled for years against bad behavior among some of its users. On Wednesday, the site introduced rules meant to crack down on involuntary pornography and deepfakes.

In 2015, the company began banning some communities, such as "fatpeoplehate," saying they violated its anti-harassment policies. Some users began to revolt, leading then-CEO Ellen Pao to step down. Steve Huffman, who cofounded Reddit with Ohanian in 2005, took the reins.

Huffman told the WSJ that while Reddit is in a good place and seeing sales rise, the company's effectively "rebuilding the entire product," with increased focus on personalization and chat. "We have a long way to go there."

In the meantime Ohanian, who is also married to tennis pro Serena Williams, plans to stay on Reddit's board.

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