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Reddit hires first Chief Financial Officer as it prepares for IPO

Reddit, the social network and online bulletin, said Thursday that it had appointed its first chief financial officer, Drew Vollero, in a move toward tidying up the company’s books before an eventual public offering of its stock

March 06, 2021 / 02:28 PM IST
FILE — Steve Huffman, chief executive of the social network Reddit, in San Francisco, July 16, 2015. Reddit announced on Thursday, March 4, 2021, that it had appointed its first chief financial officer, Drew Vollero, in a move toward tidying up the company’s books before an eventual public offering of its stock. (Jason Henry/The New York Times)

FILE — Steve Huffman, chief executive of the social network Reddit, in San Francisco, July 16, 2015. Reddit announced on Thursday, March 4, 2021, that it had appointed its first chief financial officer, Drew Vollero, in a move toward tidying up the company’s books before an eventual public offering of its stock. (Jason Henry/The New York Times)

Mike Isaac

The world’s most popular internet message board is thinking about going public.

Reddit, the social network and online bulletin, said Thursday that it had appointed its first chief financial officer, Drew Vollero, in a move toward tidying up the company’s books before an eventual public offering of its stock.

Vollero, 55, previously ran financial operations for Mattel, Snap and Allied Universal. His task at Reddit will be building out the financial, audit and accounting functions and leading the company through the process of going public.

“Is Reddit going public?” Steve Huffman, Reddit’s chief executive, said in an interview. “We’re thinking about it. We’re working toward that moment.”

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Huffman said Reddit did not have a timeline, but Vollero’s appointment indicated that the 15-year-old company was developing its financial operations to be more similar to those of publicly traded peers like Twitter and Facebook. More than 52 million people visit Reddit every day, and it is home to more than 100,000 topic-based communities, or sub-forums.

For years, Reddit represented a kind of return to the message board era of the internet, where people gathered to discuss topics as varied as makeup and video games. It dabbled in different models and occasionally generated controversy, such as over its role in easing online bullying and the spread of hateful content.

Huffman, one of Reddit’s co-founders, returned to run the site in 2015. He has changed many parts of the business, working to rein in hate speech and digital abuse and developing the company’s advertising and direct-to-consumer product business. Reddit has revamped its terms of service to outlaw the noxious content that filled some of its sub-forums in its earlier days.

Reddit has also added to its executive ranks in recent months, hiring a head of security and appointing a new member to its board. In December, the company acquired Dubsmash, a video-focused social app that competes with TikTok. Last month, Reddit raised $250 million in new capital, its largest venture round, valuing the company at $6 billion.

Reddit plans to use the funding to expand its business, including its financial team, Huffman said. He also wants to make Reddit more mainstream by improving the product or making other investments, he said.

“Reddit can be hard to get at first,” Huffman said. “It takes a little time. We want to shorten that time.”

c.2021 The New York Times Company
New York Times
first published: Mar 6, 2021 02:28 pm

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