One of the most prominent women in tech, Susan Wojcicki, is stepping down after 25 years in Google. Wojcicki was the CEO of YouTube for nine years and will be replaced by Neal Mohan, her longtime deputy. The outgoing YouTube CEO penned a lengthy letter to YouTube employees to narrate how she joined Google and rose through the ranks to head the largest video platform in the world.
In 1998, Wojcicki rented out her Silicon Valley garage to Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to start their new search engine business. She joined the firm in 1999 as its 16th employee as a marketer, and then grew through various stages to ultimately become the head of YouTube. She convinced Page and Brin to acquire YouTube in 2016 and led the division since then with Mohan who joined YouTube in 2015.
In her personal farewell letter to YouTube staffs, Wojcicki, said she joined Google when it “had only a few users and no revenue…it would be one of the best decisions of my life.” She said she went on to lead the Google’s marketing team, co-created Google Image Search, led Google’s first Video and Book search, AdSense, acquisitions of YouTube and DoubleClick, and served as senior vice president of Ads before becoming the CEO of YouTube.
“I took on each challenge that came my way because it had a mission that benefitted so many people’s lives around the world: finding information, telling stories and supporting creators, artists and small businesses,” Wojcicki stated. “I’m so proud of everything we’ve achieved. It’s been exhilarating, meaningful and all-consuming.”
The outgoing video search CEO said it is the right time to exit YouTube to start a new chapter of her life that would focus on her family, health, and personal projects. She said she felt confident to leave at this time because she is leaving behind a strong and formidable team to continue her works at the company. She anointed Mohan to succeed her.
“This time is right for me, and I feel able to do this because we have an incredible leadership team in place at YouTube,” Wojcicki said. “When I joined YouTube nine years ago, one of my first priorities was bringing in an incredible leadership team. Neal Mohan was one of those leaders, and he’ll be the SVP and new head of YouTube. I’ve spent nearly 15 years of my career working with Neal…”
Wojcicki said she will be around to help transition the leadership to Mohan and to support Google and YouTube in an advisory capacity. Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai thanked Wojcicki for her contributions to YouTube and also endorsed Mohan as the next YouTube CEO. “Susan has built an exceptional team and has in Neal a successor who is ready to hit the ground running and lead YouTube through its next decade of success,” he said.