Skip to Content

Reddit being pulled into Kleiner Perkins gender discrimination case

Ellen Pao, center, Reddit?s business and partnerships strategist, at the popular website's offices in San Francisco.Ellen Pao, center, Reddit?s business and partnerships strategist, at the popular website's offices in San Francisco.
Ellen Pao, center, Reddit's interim CEO, at the popular website's offices in San Francisco, on July 16, 2014. Photograph by Jason Henry — The New York Times/Redux

It appears that social news site Reddit is being pulled into a gender discrimination lawsuit that its interim CEO, Ellen Pao, filed against venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers back in 2012 (well before joining Reddit in her original capacity as head of strategic partnerships).

The case is scheduled to go to trial in February, and recent court filings indicate that Kleiner Perkins has subpoenaed a treasure trove of information from Reddit. Some of it appears to be amenable to Pao, including compensation data that could be used to mitigate possible damages.

But, according to a filing from Pao‘s attorneys, Kleiner Perkins also wants any performance evaluations Reddit has given Pao, plus “all documents related to [Pao‘s] promotion to interim CEO, and all documents discussing whether [Pao] will become the permanent CEO.”

The venture firm also wants any documents from or to Reddit executives that mention Kleiner Perkins, even if the documents were not authored by Pao or reference her lawsuit. Finally, it appears that Kleiner Perkins also has subpoenaed similar information from BEA Systems, where Pao worked prior to joining Kleiner Perkins (in a further attempt to establish some sort of work history).

A judge has not yet ruled on the subpoenas, to which Pao largely objects on the grounds of privacy and irrelevance (i.e., only her job performance at Kleiner Perkins would be at issue).

Reddit itself — which has raised funding from partners at Sand Hill Road venture firms like Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital — does not appear to have filed any documents with the court.

Sign up for Term Sheet, our free email newsletter on deals and deal-makers.