YouTube CEO Neal Mohan Doesn’t Think About TikTok

In an Axios interview, Mohan talked about creators and the NFL even as TikTok faces a national ban and Google is sued by the Department of Justice.

Neal Mohan wears a suit and speaks into a microphone.
YouTube CEO Neal Mohan will likely follow in Wojcicki’s footsteps. CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag

Axios streamed an interview with Neal Mohan, YouTube’s CEO of one month, on March 29, marking one of the executive’s first public appearances in the saddle. Mohan’s answers suggest the CEO is set to follow his predecessor’s lead and cause as few rifts as possible.

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Mohan’s interview with reporter Sara Fischer, part of the Axios What’s Next Summit, featured careful responses that gave virtually no new information about the company. He circumvented answering questions about whether YouTube TV would continue increasing prices, if the advertising revenue share between creators and the company might shift and how YouTube would respond to a new Utah law that gives parents control over their children’s social media usage. He also didn’t disclose his stance on more contentious issues, including the potential TikTok ban.

It isn’t surprising that a new chief executive might want to garner public favor before making any promises about the future of the company. He largely drove the conversation back to the new products and services YouTube is launching, including the Sunday Ticket and YouTube Shorts, even as the larger media climate experiences shifts that could impact the platform.

While some legislators are pushing for TikTok’s sale to a U.S. company, the idea of YouTube buying TikTok isn’t something Mohan thinks about, he said. Google (GOOGL), YouTube’s parent company, is also facing a lawsuit from the Department of Justice over its advertising monopoly, but he didn’t give a clear answer on how it could impact YouTube’s operations.

Neal Mohan replaces Susan Wojcicki

Susan Wojcicki, YouTube’s former CEO, stepped down from her position last month after nine years in the role. She famously rented her Silicon Valley garage to Google’s co-founders in 1998, then helped build out Google’s advertising business before taking over YouTube, which Google had acquired.

Mohan joined Google from DoubleClick, an advertising company that Google acquired in 2008. He worked on Google’s advertising business for seven years before becoming YouTube’s chief product officer, a position he held until replacing Wojcicki. The two had been working together on a daily basis for 15 years, he said in an interview with YouTube creator Justine Ezarik.

In a letter published on the company’s blog earlier this month, Mohan outlined his priorities for the platform, which indicate no huge shifts from how Wojcicki ran the company. He wants to find ways to make creators money, build out YouTube’s streaming business and protect children that use the platform, he wrote.

YouTube CEO Neal Mohan Doesn’t Think About TikTok