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YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki steps down, leaving Big Tech with no female CEOs

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YouTube Chief Government Officer Susan Wojcicki will step down after almost a decade of main the Google-owned video website, a significant shake-up for one of many world’s most necessary leisure platforms.

Wojcicki has been part of Google for the reason that firm’s beginnings in 1998 — it was in her mother and father’ Silicon Valley storage that Larry Web page and Sergey Brin started constructing the search big. Brin later married her sister, and Wojcicki stayed with the corporate, rising by the ranks and holding quite a few main roles earlier than being appointed head of YouTube in 2014.

Wojcicki is leaving to spend extra time along with her household and deal with her well being and private tasks, in line with a letter she sent to employees that was posted on YouTube’s company weblog. She will probably be changed by Neal Mohan, YouTube’s head of product, who first got here to Google by the corporate’s acquisition of promoting tech platform DoubleClick in 2008.

Her departure is a significant altering of the guard for Google. Wojcicki was seen by many Google workers as roughly a member of Brin and Web page’s household, given her lengthy relationship with them and standing as one of many firm’s founding workers. Her identify was floated by some as a possible future CEO of all of Google, given her ties to Brin and Web page and lengthy tenure.

Wojcicki was additionally one of the vital outstanding girls within the tech trade. With Mohan taking up, the CEOs of all the foremost social media and leisure platforms — Twitter, Fb, Snap, Netflix, Disney and YouTube — are actually all males.

Wojiciki’s departure follows a string of different high-profile leaders who’ve left massive know-how corporations at a time when the trade is struggling to diversify its workforce. Earlier this week, Meta Chief Enterprise Officer Marne Levine announced she could be leaving after 13 years on the firm. Final yr, former Chief Working Officer Sheryl Sandberg introduced she was stepping down after a 14-year stint on the social media big.

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Wojcicki oversaw large development, taking YouTube from round a billion customers to the over 2 billion individuals who use it month-to-month in the present day. Throughout that point, the unit was considered one of Google’s most necessary income development drivers, going from $3.6 billion in income within the fourth quarter of 2018, when the corporate first broke out YouTube’s monetary numbers, to just about $8 billion within the fourth quarter of 2022.

However Wojcicki had her critics, too. Wall Road analysts generally identified that YouTube’s income per consumer was considerably decrease than opponents like Fb. YouTube has additionally confronted years of criticism for the way it offers with hate speech, misinformation and conspiracy theories on its platform. Within the lead-up to the pandemic, anti-vaccine influencers had grown popular on the platform, and the location had turn out to be a key a part of the ecosystem of vaccine skeptics that exploded when covid-19 started spreading world wide.

Wojcicki additionally made the choice, together with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, to ban Trump from the location following the Jan. 6 assaults. When Fb stated earlier this yr it will rescind its ban on Trump, the main target swung as to whether YouTube would do the identical. YouTube’s ban stays, for now.

Naomi Nix contributed to this report.


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