Reddit Replaces Alexis Ohanian With First Black Board Member

Alexis Ohanian and Serena Williams
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The Reddit co-founder announced his decision to give up his board seat last week.

Alexis Ohanian's voice has been heard. The Reddit co-founder announced last week that he would be giving up his seat on the board of his company in hopes that they would consider filling the position with a black candidate.

"I have resigned as a member of the Reddit board, I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate," Ohanian, who started Reddit 15 years ago, said on social media. 

On Wednesday, the company announced that tech mogul Michael Seibel would be joining the board. He is Reddit's first black board member.

Seibel helped launch Reddit back in 2005, and was the first full-time black partner at the startup accelerator Y Combinator. He also serves as CEO of the YC startup accelerator program.

“I want to thank Steve [Huffman], Alexis, and the entire Reddit board for this opportunity. I’ve known Steve and Alexis since 2007 and have been a Reddit user ever since,” Seibel said in a statement. “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 as Reddit continues to grow and tackle the challenges of bringing community and belonging to a broader audience.”

Michael Seibel speaks during TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco 2019 at Moscone Convention Center on Oct. 02, 2019 in San Francisco, California. - Kimberly White/Getty Images for TechCrunch

Ohanian supported Reddit bringing Seibel on, tweeting: "Pleased to see @mwseibel has joined the @Reddit board. I’ve had the pleasure of working with him during my time at @ycombinator. He is a strong leader who will make a great addition to the board."

Huffman, Reddit's other co-founder, also praised Seibel, calling him "one of the smartest and kindest people in tech."

After announcing that he would be stepping down from the board, Ohanian was interviewed by his wife, Serena Williams, about the decision. 

"This was not an easy decision at all," he confessed. "I thought about what I could do beyond a social media post, beyond a donation. We need diversity at the highest levels of business now more than ever. Once I realized why I needed to do it, it became very easy."

In addition to giving up his board seat, Ohanian is also donating future gains from his Reddit stock to help the black community, starting with a $1 million pledge to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp.

Here's a look at how other celebrities are giving back.