Ellen Pao

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Ellen Pao
Nationality Chinese-American
Occupation Attorney, executive

Ellen Pao is an American lawyer and interim Chief Executive Officer[1] of Internet company Reddit Inc.[2] Pao was previously a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers,[3] and a corporate director at Flipboard.[4]

On May 10, 2012, Pao filed a gender discrimination suit against Kleiner Perkins.

Early life and education[edit]

Pao, along with her two sisters, was born to Chinese immigrant parents. Her father, Young-Ping Pao, was a professor at New York University's Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences. Pao was raised in Maplewood, New Jersey.[2][5][6]

Pao graduated from Princeton University with a degree in Electrical Engineering in 1991 and Harvard Law School in 1994.[2] She worked as a corporate attorney at Cravath, Swaine & Moore from 1994 - 1996. She then enrolled at Harvard Business School where she graduated with an MBA.[6]


After earning her MBA, Pao worked at several companies in Silicon Valley including BEA Systems as Senior Director, Corporate Business Development from 2001 until 2005.[7][6] In 2005 Pao joined Kleiner Perkins.[2]

Pao joined Reddit in 2013 and became interim CEO in November 2014 after Yishan Wong resigned.[8]

Gender discrimination lawsuit[edit]

On May 10, 2012, Pao filed a gender discrimination lawsuit against her employer,[9] and on October 1, 2012, she left the firm. Her lawyer said she was fired in retaliation for her lawsuit. The firm said Pao was terminated for performance reasons unrelated to the lawsuit.[6][10][11]

The trial started on 24 February 2015, and is heard before a jury of 12 at San Francisco Superior Court.[12][13] Kleiner Perkins is represented by Lynne Hermle and Pao is represented by Alan Exelrod of Rudy Exelrod Zieff & Lowe.[14]

One of Pao's allegations is that women junior partners at Kleiner Perkins were only allowed on one new board a year, while men junior partners sat on many boards of directors.[15]

Personal life[edit]

Pao was married to Roger Kuo, her boyfriend at Harvard Business School; they subsequently divorced.[6] Pao married Buddy Fletcher in 2007. They have a daughter, Matilda Pao Fletcher.[2][16][6]


  1. ^ Ohanian, Alexis (November 13, 2014). "Reddit Blog: Coming home". blog.reddit -- what's new on reddit. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Streitfeld, David (April 11, 2013). "Ellen Pao, Who Sued Kleiner Perkins, Joins Reddit". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ PAUL ELIAS Ellen Pao Lawsuit: Sexual Harassment Case Roils Silicon Valley July 19, 2012 Huffington Post (Associated Press)
  4. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/ellenhuet/2015/02/25/kleiner-perkins-trial-ski-trip-dinner-party/
  5. ^ Primack, Dan (April 11, 2013). "Ellen Pao has landed ... at Reddit". Fortune. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f Lashinsky, Adam; Benner, Katie (October 25, 2012). "A tale of money, sex and power: The Ellen Pao and Buddy Fletcher affair". Fortune Magazine. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ https://www.crunchbase.com/person/ellen-pao
  8. ^ Altman, Sam. "A new team at reddit". Sam Altman. Retrieved November 13, 2014. 
  9. ^ "Kleiner gender discrimination suit". Reuters. May 22, 2012. Retrieved May 24, 2012. 
  10. ^ Thomas, Owen (October 3, 2012). "Ellen Pao's Lawyer: Kleiner Perkins Just Fired Her—And We're Filing A Wrongful-Termination Complaint". The San Francsico Chronicle. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  11. ^ Gage, Deborah (October 3, 2012). "Ellen Pao Leaving Kleiner Perkins, Remains on Payroll". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 4, 2012. 
  12. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/23/technology/ellen-pao-suit-against-kleiner-perkins-heads-to-trial-with-big-potential-implications.html
  13. ^ http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_27592432/opening-arguments-ellen-pao-vs-kleiner-perkins-touch
  14. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/02/24/ellen-pao-trial-kleiner-perkins-discrimination-silicon-valley-venture-capital/23908291/
  15. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2015/03/02/ellen-pao-kleiner-perkins-ted-schlein-cocky/24267571/
  16. ^ Bradley, Richard (February 28, 2012). "Buddy Fletcher: Financial Genius — or a Fake?". Boston Magazine. Retrieved April 22, 2014.