Michael Seibel Becomes Reddit’s First Black Board Member After Alexis Ohanian’s Resignation

Alexis Ohanian's seat on Reddit’s Board of Directors has been filled by Michael Seibel, making him the company's first Black board member.

By emily belfiore 10 Jun, 2020 6:52 PMTags
Alexis Ohanian, Michael SeibelGetty Images

Alexis Ohanian's seat on Reddit's Board of Directors has been filled. 

On Wednesday, Reddit announced that Michael Seibel has been selected to replace Ohanian, making him the social media site's first Black board member. Seibel is a partner at the startup accelerator Y Combinator and serves as CEO of the YC startup accelerator program, which helped launch Reddit back in 2005.

"Today, we're thrilled to announce that Michael Seibel will be joining Reddit's Board of Directors," a statement from Reddit read. "In addition to his vast experience guiding companies in every part of the tech sector, Seibel has consistently promoted diversity and inclusion in the startup world."

Siebel expressed his excitement over the new role. "I want to thank [Reddit CEO and co-founder] Steve [Huffman], Alexis, and the entire Reddit board for this opportunity," he said in a statement. "I've known Steve and Alexis since 2007 and have been a Reddit user ever since."

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He continued, "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."

This news comes days after Ohanian announced that he was resigning from Reddit and urged the company to fill his seat with a Black candidate. "Fifteen years ago I co-founded Reddit as a place for people to find community and a sense of belonging," the tech mogul said. "It is long overdue to do the right thing."  

Ohanian, who shares daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr. with wife Serena Williams, then explained that he believes his decision will bring positive change.

"I'm saying this as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks, 'What did you do,'" Ohanian expressed. "So, I have resigned as a member of the Reddit board. I have urged them to fill my seat with a black candidate, and I will use future gains on my Reddit stock to serve the black community, chiefly to curb racial hate."

In addition to announcing his resignation, Ohanian shared that he had made a charitable contribution to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp, which strives to advance the liberation and well-being of Black and Brown communities.

"And I'm starting with a pledge of $1 million to Colin Kaepernick's Know Your Rights Camp," Ohanian concluded. "I believe resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now and to everyone fighting to fix our broken nation, do not stop."

"E! stands in solidarity with the black community against systemic racism and oppression experienced every day in America," the network said in a statement on May 31. "We owe it to our black staff, talent, production partners and viewers to demand change and accountability. To be silent is to be complicit. #BlackLivesMatter."