I'm not sure why Google thought it was a good idea to hire 4chan founder Chris "moot" Poole in the first place, but after five years there, he's out. It's not clear whether he quit or was asked to resign.
From Ars Technica:
Poole's 4chan is an anonymous, ephemeral imageboard that is often given the title "cesspool of the Internet." The site is broken up into boards of various topics, and some of the more lawless boards are home to all of the worst characters on the Internet, like school shooters, child pornographers, and racists. It's also the birthplace of a lot of Internet culture, like Rickrolling, lolcats, and, more recently, Pepe the frog memes and the alt-right. The site gave rise to the Internet hacktivist group Anonymous and is often used as a dumping ground for various hacks like the Nintendo Gigaleak. Poole sold 4chan back in 2015, a year before joining Google.
Back when Poole was hired, Google's fear of Facebook gave it an unhinged obsession with social media, but nobody at Google really understood how social media worked. Poole's hiring at the company was controversial, but high-ranking Google+ execs defended the move. 4chan is a social site with millions of monthly visitors, and that made Poole one of the company's few experienced social experts when he arrived.
You haters have no idea what you're talking about. Did you personally spend any time on the site, beyond browsing /b/?
4chan in moot's time was an extraordinary social site. He and his crew had a solid conscious grasp on how code architecture formed social relations, did amazing things with little code, and did interesting experiments in exposing rules to users and conscious culture building.
Some of the most intimate and meaningful interactions with fellow humans I've had online were on 4chan (lol, not in /b/). Stripped of the so-called identity (the shape of which itself an engineered artifact) you're left with your words to define you.
In the current corporate world of social interaction for profit, y'all seem to forget it's not the only way.
I will agree that 4chan didn't scale past some 2005-ish date. Did in by its own success. Like it or not 4chan was far more rich and complex than it seems most appreciate.
I'm the author and architect of another system that didn't scale, lol, FidoNet and the Fido BBS.
You can't look at old shit with modern eyes. Get a clue.
Wikipedia includes this bit of 4chan's origin story:
Poole had been a regular participant on Something Awful's subforum "Anime Death Tentacle Rape Whorehouse" (ADTRW), where many users were familiar with the Japanese imageboard format and Futaba Channel ("2chan.net"). When creating 4chan, Poole obtained Futaba Channel's open source code and translated the Japanese text into English using AltaVista's Babel Fish online translator.[note 1] After the site's creation, Poole invited users from the ADTRW subforum, many of whom were dissatisfied with the site's moderation, to visit 4chan, which he advertised as an English-language counterpart to Futaba Channel and a place for Western fans to discuss anime and manga. At its founding, the site only hosted one board: /b/ (Anime/Random).
[Image by Sage Ross – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0]