YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has announced that she will be stepping down from her role at the helm of the popular video-sharing platform. Wojcicki has been with Google, YouTube’s parent company, for 25 years, and has led the platform for the past nine years. During her tenure, she oversaw the transformation of YouTube into one of the most popular online destinations and an essential part of Google’s advertising business, with the platform bringing in $7.9 billion in Q4 2022 alone and $29.2 billion throughout 2022.
Wojcicki has shared in a note to YouTube employees that she is leaving to focus on her health, family, and personal projects. She said that she is proud of everything that the team has achieved and that the experience has been “exhilarating, meaningful, and all-consuming.”
Neal Mohan, who has served as YouTube’s chief product officer since 2015, will take over from Wojcicki as the new head of YouTube. Wojcicki will remain in an advisory role at Google.
Wojcicki has had a long and successful career at Google, having worked on projects such as Google Image Search, the first video and book search, the early parts of AdSense, the YouTube and DoubleClick acquisitions, and served as SVP of Ads. She also rented out her garage space to Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin as they developed the search engine.
The announcement of Wojcicki’s departure comes at a time when YouTube is in the midst of a broader transition. The company is facing fierce competition from the likes of TikTok and Instagram for younger users, and in 2021, it launched its Shorts product to better compete in the short-form video space.
In addition, YouTube is expanding further into the live broadcast space, having recently inked a deal to carry NFL Sunday Ticket as part of its efforts to increase interest in its YouTube TV platform.
The move also comes as YouTube is facing increased scrutiny over issues such as content moderation and copyright infringement. The platform has been criticized for allowing harmful content to thrive on its platform, leading to calls for stronger regulations and policies. Wojcicki has defended the company’s approach to content moderation, saying that they are constantly improving their policies and tools to address these issues.
Despite these challenges, YouTube has remained one of the most popular destinations on the web, with over 2 billion monthly active users. The platform has also become an essential tool for creators, artists, and small businesses, providing a platform for them to share their work and connect with audiences around the world.
In her note to employees, Wojcicki expressed her confidence in the future of YouTube and its team. She said that she is excited to see what they will achieve next and that she will continue to support them in her new role.
Overall, the departure of Susan Wojcicki marks the end of an era for YouTube, but the platform is poised to continue its growth and evolution under the leadership of Neal Mohan. As the video-sharing space continues to evolve and become more competitive, it will be interesting to see how YouTube adapts and innovates to stay ahead of the curve.