Alexis Ohanian has resigned from the tech company he co-founded, Reddit, with the that a Black person be recruited to take his place on the board.
The 37-year-old posted a video message to his social media accounts on Friday, explaining that he believes 'resignation can actually be an act of leadership from people in power right now'.
The tech entrepreneur co-founded the company 15 years ago and has until now sat on the board. Announcing his resignation, he said he has urged his former colleagues 'to fill my seat with a Black candidate'.
Amid the Black Lives Matter protests and calls-to-action following the death of George Floyd, after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck, Ohanian said he felt compelled to resign: 'as a father who needs to be able to answer his black daughter when she asks: "What did you do?"'
Ohanian, who married Serena Williams in 2017, is father to the couple's two-year-old daughter Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jnr.
Ohanian added that he would use profits from his future Reddit stocks to support the Black Lives Matter movement, starting with a $1 million donation to the Know Your Rights campaign started by former NFL star Colin Kaepernick, who famously 'took the knee' during the national anthem as a protest against police brutality and racism in the US.
After Ohanian announced his departure from the board, he discussed his decision with Williams on an Instagram Live on her profile, explaining he wanted to do more than a social media post and donation, 'We need diversity at the highest levels of business now more than ever. It would be in the best interest of Reddit, and every company, for that to happen.'
Ohanian thanked his wife for her 'counsel and advice', revealing they spoke about his decision extensively before the couple continued to speak about their different outlooks, perspectives and life experiences due to their different races.
Having diverse views on any boards is important. So proud of you Alexis. I know Olympia will be too https://t.co/kVUaJZoe7v— Serena Williams (@serenawilliams) June 5, 2020
Williams also paid tribute to her husband on Twitter, saying she knows their daughter will be proud of him for his decision.
After their decision, Ohanian returned the favour, sharing a photo of himself supporting Williams from the stands on the tennis court, writing: 'Y'all only see me out there in the stands holding it down for her, but she's the GOAT off the court when it comes to holding it down for her husband. TRUST me.'
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