Reddit hires ex-Time Inc. exec as chief operating officer
Jen Wong, the chief operating officer of Time Inc. before it was gobbled up by Meredith, has been hired as COO of social media network Reddit as it tries to expand its ad base.
Reddit raised $200 million in a funding round in mid-2017 that put its valuation at $1.8 billion. Ironically, that’s about the same value that Time Inc. had when it was sold to Meredith earlier this year.
Time Inc., of course, had a few more employees — about 7,000. Reddit has about 350.
The expectation is that Reddit, which is still believed to be in the “investment stage,” will have an initial public offering at some point — although nothing is on the table at the moment.
Wong told The Wall Street Journal she wants to increase ad revenue and expand its global user audience from 330 million to 1 billion.
Wong was president of digital and COO at Time, where she founded its native advertising unit, dubbed The Foundry.
Earlier, she was PopSugar’s chief business officer for four years and served two years as AOL’s global head of business operations.
She also worked at the McKinsey consultancy.
Advance, the Newhouse family’s media company, has about a 40 percent stake in Reddit. Advance owned Condé Nast had purchased 100 percent of Reddit for an estimated $20 million back in 2005 before handing it off to Advance, its parent company, which subsequently sold off stakes to outside investors in three separate fund raising rounds. Condé Nast currently has no stake. Outside investors now own about 60 percent of Reddit.
Wong, who got a Time exit compensation package of $6.8 million, had her first day on the job on Thursday. She is based in New York, where she’ll oversee business strategy and play a big role in diversity efforts, the company said.
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