The Full Color 50


/ Finance Leaders

When the history of the Internet is complete, Ellen Pao will go down as one of its bravest, most optimistic champions. Her CV borders on the unbelievable — Pao’s path has seen her through many of the most prestigious investment and start-up environs. She has even steered directly into complex and forbidding online controversies: while CEO of reddit, Ellen’s vision of an Internet free of threats and hate speech inspired others to build a more perfect online space, no matter the obstacles.


Ellen’s bio:

Ellen Pao is a long-time entrepreneur and angel investor, and a more recent activist. She was the interim CEO at reddit, where she notably implemented changes to the site and company to address harassment, including banning revenge porn, unauthorized nude photos, and several harassing subreddits. She previously ran its mobile, growth, and business development efforts. Ellen has written and spoken extensively about diversity and inclusion in tech, and is one of the co-founders of Project Include, an Oakland non-profit providing practical, effective diversity and inclusion recommendations for tech startups.


Prior to reddit, Ellen helped build startups for seven years as a partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, where she served on the boards of Flipboard, Datameer and Lehigh, and worked closely with RPX and Jive. She started her tech career in business development roles at early-stage startups Tellme Networks and Danger Research, and at WebTV and BEA Systems. Before moving into tech, Ellen practiced corporate law in New York and Hong Kong for Cravath, Swaine & Moore. She received an MBA from Harvard Business School, a JD from Harvard Law School, and a BSE in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University, where she also received a certificate in public policy. Ellen is an Aspen Institute Henry Crown Fellow.