YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Is Stepping Down, To Be Replaced By Product Chief

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Is Stepping Down, To Be Replaced By Product Chief

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is stepping down.

Photograph by Christian Peacock/The Forbes Collection

YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki on Thursday announced she is stepping down from the top job at the world’s largest video platform. She will be replaced by the company’s current No. 2 executive, longtime product chief Neal Mohan.

“Today, after nearly 25 years here, I’ve decided to step back from my role as the head of YouTube and start a new chapter focused on my family, health, and persona​​l projects I’m passionate about,” Wojcicki wrote in an email to employees. “The time is right for me, and I feel able to do this because we have an incredible leadership team in place at YouTube.”

Wojcicki, a member of Forbes’ Power Women listbecame CEO of YouTube in 2014, after previously heading Google’s display and video ads business. She famously rented out her Menlo Park garage in 1998 to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin, joining the company a year later as employee number 16.

The announcement, which was earlier reported by Vox, comes as Google has faced recent challenges. Last month, Google parent Alphabet laid off 12,000 employees, or 6% of the company. YouTube, as well as other rivals, has also been trying to fend off the ascendency of TikTok. Kids and teens are now spending more time watching videos on TikTok than YouTube, according to data from the tech company Qustodio. YouTube has responded to the threat by creating its own short-form video product, called Shorts.

Wojcicki’s tenure at YouTube has also been marked by some controversies. The video site has been criticized for helping to spread Covid and election misinformation, conspiracy theories, and toxic content aimed at children.

Wojcicki said she will remain at Google and Alphabet as an advisor.

Google’s leaders lauded Wojcicki on her way out. “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. “We’re so grateful for all she’s done over the last 25 years.”

Google CEO Sundar Pichai said: “Susan played a key role in Google’s origin story, and over the years her leadership opened up entirely new chapters for the company. Her vision and passion have helped YouTube grow into an incredible platform that empowers creators everywhere.”

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