Susan Wojcicki Is Stepping Down as YouTube CEO After Nine Years

While at YouTube, Wojcicki grew the site's revenue by more than seven times and positioned it to compete with social media and streaming platforms.

Susan Wojcicki smiles past the camera.
Susan Wojcicki was the 16th employee hired at Google. Getty Images

Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s CEO of nine years, is stepping down from her position, according to a letter shared with employees and obtained by Vox. Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer of seven years, will take her place.

Wojcicki, 54, is one of the most influential women in the tech industry. She not only ran the world’s biggest video sharing website for nearly a decade, but she helped build Google, which owns YouTube, into a tech behemoth over her 25 years at the company.

In the letter, Wojcicki said she is leaving to “start a new chapter focused on my family, health and personal projects I’m passionate about.” After helping Mohan with the transition, Wojcicki will take on an advisory role at Google and its parent company, Alphabet.

Wojcicki rented out her Silicon Valley garage to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in 1998 and joined the company as the 16th employee shortly after. She managed Google’s marketing, led the company’s first video and book search function and served as senior vice president of advertising for 14 years. She worked on the acquisitions of DoubleClick and YouTube, which she became chief executive of in 2014.

“Susan has a unique place in Google history and has made the most incredible contribution to products used by people everywhere,” Page and Brin said in a statement, according to Vox. “We’re so grateful for all she’s done over the last 25 years.”

Wojcicki’s impact on YouTube

Google purchased YouTube for $1.65 billion in 2006. When Wojcicki became CEO in 2014, 1 billion people each month visited the site. Today, 2.6 billion users do.

YouTube earned $29.2 billion in advertising sales in 2022, 10 percent of Alphabet’s revenue. Wojcicki grew YouTube’s revenue by more than seven times from when she stepped into the CEO position. In 2014, YouTube reportedly earned $4 billion and wasn’t profitable.

Wojcicki helped position YouTube to compete with social media platforms like TikTok through the creation and monetization of YouTube Shorts. She also helped establish YouTube as a streaming platform with the creation of YouTube TV and the $14 billion deal with the National Football League to broadcast games.

“Susan has built an exceptional team and has in Neal (Mohan) a successor who is ready to hit the ground running and lead YouTube through its next decade of success,” Google CEO Sundar Pichai said, according to Vox.

What’s happening at Google

Pichai came under fire following Microsoft’s unveiling of Chat GPT, which is now integrated in to Bing’s search engine. Google released its chatbot competitor Bard shortly after, but it gave a factually incorrect answer in a demonstration and the company’s stock fell 12 percent. Om Malik, a venture capitalist and tech writer who questioned Pichai’s leadership, said he believed Wojcicki is a strong candidate for Pichai’s replacement as Google CEO. Now that she is departing the company, that might no longer be the case.

Susan Wojcicki Is Stepping Down as YouTube CEO After Nine Years