Susan Wojcicki Steps Down as CEO of YouTube

TECHNOLOGY

The CEO of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki, will be stepping down after nine years at the helm of the world’s largest online video platform, she said in a blog post on Thursday.

YouTube’s chief product officer, Neal Mohan, will be the new head of YouTube, she said. Wojcicki, 54, was previously a senior vice-president for ad products at Google and became CEO of YouTube in 2014. Before Google, Wojcicki worked at Intel and Bain & Company.

Susan Wojcicki said that, after nearly 25 years here, she’s decided to step back from her role as the head of YouTube and start a new chapter focused on my family, health and personal projects I’m passionate about, said Susan Wojcicki.

Shortly after Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin incorporated their search engine into a business in 1998, Wojcicki rented the garage of her Menlo Park, California, home to them for $1,700 a month.

It would be one of the best decisions of her life, Susan Wojcicki said after her departure. She said that, she would stay with YouTube temporarily to aid in the transition of leadership, and in the longer term, she has agreed with Google CEO Sundar Pichai to take on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet, offering guidance and counselling.

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Wojcicki is the latest in a series of high-profile tech executives to bow out from their posts, with Jeff Bezos resigning as CEO of Amazon in 2021, Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg stepping down in 2022 and Pinterest CEO Ben Silbermann leaving his position also in 2022. Twitter CEO Parag Agrawal was also ousted in 2022 as part of the company’s acquisition by billionaire Elon Musk.

Wojcicki’s departure comes at a time when YouTube is facing one of its most challenging periods since Google bought what was then a quirky video site facing widespread complaints about copyright infringement in 2006 for an announced price of $1.65bn. The all-stock deal was valued at $1.76-billion by the time the transaction closed.

Under Wojcicki’s leadership for nearly a decade, YouTube has faced a number of concerns about misinformation and hate speech on the platform. In January 2021 YouTube joined a number of other tech platforms in banning Donald Trump for fomenting election unrest in the US. The former president remains suspended from the platform, and it is unclear if Wojcicki’s departure will affect the decision.

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