Reddit co-founder Ohanian resigns from board, urges company to replace him with a black person
The recent killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, at the hands of Minneapolis police, has sparked outrage across cities in the United States and countries around the world. The death has also caused ripples in the tech industry. Today, Alexis Ohanian, the Co-founder of Reddit announced his resignation from the company’s board, saying he was stepping down and urging the company to replace him with a black person. Ohanian, who is married to professional tennis player Serena Williams, is currently the executive chairman of the social news website Reddit.
In a tweet, Ohanian said: “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”
He also co-founded the early-stage venture capital firm Initialized Capital, helped launch the travel search website Hipmunk, and started the social enterprise Breadpig. He was also a partner at Y Combinator. In 2012, Andy Greenberg of Forbes magazine dubbed him “Mayor of the Internet.”
Ohanian also pledged to commit 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.
Ohanian was born in Brooklyn, New York, to a German mother, Anke (née Prigge), and an Armenian father, Chris Ohanian. Chris’s grandparents came to the US as refugees after the Armenian Genocide. Alexis went to Howard High School in Ellicott City, Maryland, where he gave the student address for his graduating class in 2001. Ohanian’s net worth is about $70 million according to 2019 Forbes estimate.