SMACKDOWN! Reddit hires wrestling's investor relations head to helm IPO

Both WWE and Reddit have cult-like followings, so why not?


Comment Reddit says it has "confidentially" filed an S-1 form with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as part of the process to list publicly.

The company, which boasts an online community of 52 million daily users (up 44 per cent year-on-year from its previous published stats), did not announce number of shares to be offered or price range.

Reddit, which sports the somewhat ambitious tagline "the front page of the internet", did state:

We are in a quiet period, and for regulatory reasons, we cannot say anything further.

Reddit has made hints at the IPO for a while. In March, CEO and co-founder Steve Huffman told The New York Times: "We're thinking about it. We're working toward that moment," adding the caveat that there was no timeline established for an IPO.

Then, in August this year, Series F funding brought in $700m, valuing the firm at over $10bn.

The hunt to find the right personnel to make the step was on in September, according to Reuters. And it looks like one of the people Reddit found to lead the IPO as head of Investor Relations is former World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) vice president Michael Guido.

Up until last month, Guido was the primary analyst and investor contact for the company responsible for such famous physical theatre performers as John Cena, The Rock, Stone Cold Steve Austin and, of course, the OG – Hulk Hogan. The WWE is known for using its own terminology and lingo, as well as having a niche, almost cult-like, group of users that often display their enthusiasm intensely.

Some might even find themselves drawing parallels with the culture of Reddit users, who typically exhibit their allegiance with running gags, devotion to odd tasks, or dangerous oversharing.

Of course, one should use both the WWE and Reddit in moderation, enjoying the show that is the wrestlers, and perhaps enjoying a dad joke on the internet forum.

Another odd commonality between WWE and Reddit is a certain Florida man.

The former US pres held a friendship with WWE owners Vince and Linda McMahon since the late 1980s, even appearing on WrestleMania live and in storylines. He was inducted into the celebrity wing of the WWE Hall of Fame in 2013 and appointed Linda McMahon to his Cabinet in 2016. She was a major Trump supporter during his presidential campaign, at one point donating $6m to a pro-Trump super PAC.

Reddit also arguably played its part in getting Florida Man elected with the now-banned subreddit r/The_Donald, as well as other subreddits like r/pizzagate which helped spread conspiracy theories and other misinformation that worked in his favour. To the social media platform's credit, it acted decisively in banning the subreddit after the man's supporters staged an assault on the US Capitol on January this year – in the same week Twitter permanently suspended the Orange One from its service "due to the risk of further incitement for violence."

r/The_Donald grew at one point to over 790,000 subscribers. It was ranked as one of the most active communities on the forum, although it was far from the largest, as the top 400 subreddits all sport over 1 million subscribers. When Reddit shut down r/The_Donald nearly five years after its debut, it said this was due to its contributors doxxing people, harassment and being in general violation of the website's policies (specifically rules 1,2 and 8).

All thereby proving that humans may have made the internet in our own image, and the front page of it is at times both the best and the worst of us.

And now it is going public. ®

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