YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has announced that she is stepping down from the video streaming service. Wojcicki, who joined Alphabet nearly 25 years ago, said she was starting “a new chapter focused on family, health, and personal projects.”
Wojcicki has been working with Google almost since its inception. The company’s founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, opened an office in her parents’ garage shortly after Google was founded in 1998. The following year, Wojcicki became Google’s first marketing manager.
Among other things, she participated in the creation of the first Google Doodles, was one of the creators of Google Image Search and the first manager of AdSense (one of Google’s key advertising programs). In 2006, she encouraged Google to buy YouTube, which had debuted a year earlier. Eight years later, Wojcicki became the head of YouTube and became one of the few women to lead a major technology company.
During Wojcicki’s tenure, YouTube became an increasingly important part of Google and Alphabet. Only advertising revenue on the platform made more than 10% of the company’s total revenue in the last quarter. Of course, Wojcicki’s work as CEO of YouTube was not smooth sailing. The platform has long struggled with moderation issues, including hate speech and misinformation. For her part, Wojcicki made it her goal to listen to YouTube creators and users and solve their problems head-on.
— YouTube Creators (@YouTubeCreators) February 16, 2023
In her farewell letter Susan Wojcicki has announced that Neal Mohan, her de facto deputy, is becoming the new head of YouTube. Mohan joined the company when Google bought DoubleClick in 2007. In 2015, he became YouTube’s Chief Product Officer and helped launch YouTube TV, YouTube Music, Premium, and Shorts. Mohan also led the service’s trust and security team.
Intriguingly, Wojcicki said Mohan will be a senior vice president and head of YouTube, not CEO.
“With all we’re doing across Shorts, streaming, and subscriptions, together with the promises of AI, YouTube’s most exciting opportunities are ahead, and Neal is the right person to lead us,” Wojcicki wrote.
She’s not going to leave YouTube right away:
“In the short term, I plan to support Neal and help with the transition, which will include continuing to work with some YouTube teams, coaching team members, and meeting with creators,” she wrote.
She will also continue to work with Google and Alphabet as an advisor:
“This will allow me to call on my different experiences over the years to offer counsel and guidance across Google and the portfolio of Alphabet companies,” she noted.