Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer, will replace Susan Wojcicki as its senior vice president and CEO.
In a blog post, she said, “After nearly 25 years leading YouTube, I’m stepping back to focus on my family and health, as well as personal projects I’m passionate about.”.
As YouTube’s CEO since 2014, Wojcicki is 54 years old.
The CEO of Alphabet, Sundar Pichai, agreed with Wojcicki to, in the long run, take on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet, as she continues to work with YouTube teams, coach members, and meet with creators. According to her, she will be able to draw upon her diverse experiences to offer advice and guidance across Google’s portfolio and Alphabet’s portfolio of companies.
“I feel able to do this because YouTube has an incredible leadership team in place,” she said. “One of my first priorities when I joined YouTube nine years ago was bringing in an incredible leadership team.”
In the early days of Google, Wojcicki let Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin work out of her Menlo Park, California, garage for $1,700 a month. Page and Brin rented the space from her. At the time, Wojcicki was employed by Intel as a marketing manager.
For 14 years, Wojcicki led Google’s design and build of advertising and analytics products. In 2006, she advocated for the $1.65 billion acquisition of YouTube. In recent years, YouTube has expanded its physical footprint in areas such as New York and near its headquarters in San Bruno, California.
As head of YouTube, she oversaw the company’s rapid expansion into the world’s largest video platform. YouTube now has more than 2.5 billion monthly active users, and 500 hours of content are uploaded every minute, it says.
Google and YouTube settled a lawsuit in 2019 alleging that the video platform violated children’s privacy laws after rapid growth became a challenge for the company to contain. Wojcicki also came under fire during the 2020 elections and the Covid-19 pandemic as the platform struggled to contain misinformation and disinformation campaigns.
According to Wojcicki’s blog post, she has spent nearly 15 years working with Mohan, the new head of YouTube, “first with the DoubleClick acquisition in 2007 and then as his role expanded to include Display and Video Ads.”‘
YouTube has faced pressure in recent years amid the rise of social media, namely TikTok, which it has been trying to compete with through its short-form video platform Shorts. During the fourth quarter, YouTube earned $7.96 billion in advertising revenue, which was below analysts’ expectations and 8% lower than the year before.