Reddit gets new CEO

Yishan Wong reporting for duty. 


Fruzsina Eördögh

Internet Culture

Published Mar 8, 2012   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 8:19 pm CDT

Reddit has a new CEO, and his name is Yishan Wong.

Wong announced himself in an official Reddit blog post today, titled “New reddit CEO reporting for duty.” In the post, Wong writes that he used to work as Facebook’s Director of Engineering as well as a start-up consultant, and had been a redditor for about seven years.  

Wong said he was “surprised” when he was approached with the job offer after he applied back in September, because he didn’t have any “straight-up CEO experience” and didn’t think of himself as “a serious candidate.”

“It didn’t seem real, and I knew that I didn’t match the profile of what you might consider (or so I thought) a CEO candidate. I don’t have the polish and the poise and the schmoozing, and I don’t play golf. Instead, I’m an engineer and a leader of engineers and I play Starcraft (poorly). But as I continued the conversations, I came to understand that reddit wasn’t looking for a conventional CEO candidate, because reddit is not a conventional company.”

Wong added that he’s not interested in implementing  “big, bold changes,” as reddit is already “great.” Rather, he wants to engage the community. “I think the best way to get acquainted and learn what’s important to everyone is to have an ongoing conversation.”  

And what better way to do that on Reddit than to start a question and answer session?

Wong promptly placed the post on Reddit, and the thread received more than 300 comments in less than 40 minutes. Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, aka “kn0thing,” also fielded questions.

“I asked all of the candidates I interviewed the question: ‘Why did digg fail?’” wrote Ohanian in Wong’s Reddit thread.  “Yishan knows. And I’ll do everything in my capacity as a board member of reddit, inc. to make sure he doesn’t fuck it up.”

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*First Published: Mar 8, 2012, 8:39 pm CST