Recode's Kara Swisher reported Friday that Pao and Reddit's board reached a "mutual decision" that will reinstate Steve Huffman, co-founder of the popular online forum, as CEO. Pao will serve as an advisor to Reddit's board for the rest of 2015.
Asked point-blank by Swisher if Pao was fired, board head Sam Altman said "no."
"We are thankful for Ellen's many contributions to reddit [sic] and the technology industry generally. She brought focus to chaos, recruited a world-class team of executives, and drove growth," Altman said in a statement to Recode.
Pao, who stepped into her role as interim CEO last November, endured a controversial tenure. Most recently, Reddit moderators rebelled against the site's administration over the sudden firing of Victoria Taylor, the head of the "Ask Me Anything" message board, which often features candid Q&A sessions with celebrities and other notable figures. Many of the site's 160 million users were also critical of a recent decision to ban abusive boards on the site. A petition to have Pao removed received over 200,000 signatures.
Pao addressed her detractors in a post on Reddit after news of her departure broke.
"I just want to remind everyone that I am just another human; I have a family, and I have feelings. Everyone attacked on reddit is just another person like you and me," Pao wrote.
This article has been updated to include a link to Pao's post on Reddit.