Reddit just snagged a former AOL and Time Inc executive to revamp its digital advertising business

Astrid Stawiarz/StringerJen Wong is joining Reddit as COO. Here, Wong is pictured with ‘Manny The Frenchie’ at a Time Inc. benefit.
  • Reddit has hired former Time Inc. executive Jen Wong as its chief operating officer.
  • Wong will help grow Reddit’s digital advertising business.
  • She’ll also be the voice for “diversity and inclusion” at the company.
  • Diversity and inclusion are both pain points for Reddit, which has struggled to strike the right balance when it comes to reducing harassment on its open forums.

Former Time Inc. exec Jen Wong joined Reddit as its new chief operations officer, the company announced Thursday.

Most recently, Wong was COO of Time Inc, the iconic but troubled magazine publisher which got acquired by its rival Meredith Corp. for $US2.8 billion in January.

Wong grew Time Inc’s digital business, but it wasn’t enough to right the course for a company that had relied too long on its declining print advertising revenues. She left the organisation after the acquisition.

Wong, who also held executive roles at AOL and PopSugar, is tasked with revamping Reddit’s digital advertising business. Her job will be to build out Reddit’s advertising offerings and grow its business, as well as helping the company with “diversity and inclusion.”

“As COO, she’ll help our execs continue to make this a top-level priority, both in the way that we recruit and in the day-to-day culture that greets employees after they join the company,” the company wrote in its announcement.

While Reddit’s c-suite is marginally more diverse than many other tech companies, it was just three years ago that Reddit users circulated a petition to get Pao fired, angered at the dismissal of a Reddit employee who had run the site’s popular AMA series. Along with the petition, a coordinated harassment campaign against Pao followed, and days later, she left the company and was replaced my co-founder Steve Huffman.

“It was sickening to see some of the things Redditors wrote about Ellen,” investor Sam Altman wrote on Reddit at the time. “The reduction in compassion that happens when we’re all behind computer screens is not good for the world. People are still people even if there is Internet between you.”

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