Reddit CEO Explains Why He and Company Battled Over Office Space

Ex-CEO Yishan Wong explains why he wanted Reddit to leave San Francisco.

— -- Reddit's recently departed CEO says a disagreement over office space led to his resignation, but the job was already "stressful and draining."

The headquarters of the popular Internet company, with an audience of 174 million people, is in San Francisco. But former CEO Yishan Wong wanted to move the company to Daly City, about 10 miles south.

Reddit moved to its 1,697-square-foot space in the summer of 2011, according to a company blog post.

Reddit's "lead investor" and Y Combinator president Sam Altman attributed Wong's resignation to "a disagreement with the board about a new office (location and amount of money to spend on a lease)," he wrote on his website. "To be clear, though, we didn’t ask or suggest that he resign—he decided to when we didn’t approve the new office plan."

Wong wrote on website Quora, "After two and a half years, I'm basically completely worn out, and it was having significantly detrimental effects on my personal life."

About the "office location issue," he wrote, "it's probably something we could have worked out."

"I feel the board is a very supportive and friendly one, but we had a strategic disagreement wherein I felt that locating an office in San Francisco proper is an incredibly difficult thing given the strains the city is facing and the high rents it imposes on employees who wish to live close to the office," Wong wrote on Quora.

"On the other hand, many of our current employees live there so the proposal to find an office location just outside the city (Daly City is immediately to the southwest outside of SF) was very unpopular, and there are plenty of startups who locate in SF and are very successful," Wong wrote on Quora. "If the job had been an energizing one rather than one that had been so draining, this probably wouldn't have been an issue I resigned over. But it was, and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't relieved to have the burden off my shoulders."

It’s unclear when exactly he quit, although the resignation just came to light Thursday.

Chief operating officer Ellen Pao will be interim CEO while co-founder Alexis Ohanian will return as executive chairman, the company said.

Reddit and Wong could not be reached for comment.