Susan Wojcicki, Neal Mohan Susan Wojcicki, Neal Mohan

On Thursday, Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced that she is stepping down after nearly a decade at the helm. Chief product officer Neal Mohan will take over as senior vp and new head of the company.

In a blog post, Wojcicki explained her decision, saying, “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 personal projects I’m passionate about.”

Youtube is owned by Google’s parent company Alphabet. Wojcicki’s relationship with Google founders and top Alphabet shareholders Larry Page and Sergey Brin goes back decades. When the two were developing their search engine, she rented them her garage as a workspace for $1,700 a month. Wojcicki was working for Intel at the time.

“Susan has a unique place in Google history and has made the most incredible contribution to products used by people everywhere,” said Page and Brin in a statement released after it was announced that Wojcicki is stepping down. “We’re so grateful for all she’s done over the last 25 years.”

Wojcicki joined Google in 1999 as the company’s 16th employee and oversaw the design and implementation of Google’s advertising and analytics products for 14 years. In 2006, she was a major voice in favor of the company’s $1.65 billion acquisition of Youtube.

In 2014, she began her work as CEO at Youtube. Under her watch, the site has become the world’s largest video streaming service and now hosts over 2.5 billion monthly users and sees more than 500 hours of content uploaded every minute. In 2022, the video site’s advertising platform generated $29.2 billion, representing about 10% of Google parent Alphabet’s revenue.

Wojcicki’s creator-driven philosophy at Youtube has had an undeniable impact on the animation community. The site became a launchpad for independent artists and animators and a favored platform for many who were already established before the site became popular. Over the years, creators have often taken issue with some of the site’s policies – inappropriate suggested videos, unrelated advertising, monetization/demonetization of channels – but Youtube’s importance to the world of animation can hardly be overstated.

Although she will no longer be CEO, Wojcicki will stay to help Mohan with the transition, and she will continue working with Youtube teams and creators. Long term, she will take on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet.

Mohan has been on Wojcicki’s leadership team at Youtube since 2015. Before that, he worked at the advertising platform Doubleclick, acquired by Google in 2007.

“I’ve spent nearly 15 years of my career working with Neal,” said Wojcicki in her farewell post. “[H]e has set up a top-notch product and UX team, played pivotal roles in the launch of some of our biggest products, including Youtube TV, Youtube Music, and Premium and Shorts, and has led our Trust and Safety team, ensuring that Youtube lives up to its responsibility as a global platform. He has a wonderful sense for our product, our business, our creator and user communities, and our employees. Neal will be a terrific leader for Youtube.”

Mohan said on Twitter that he intends to build on Youtube’s mission to be an “extraordinary home for creators and viewers”:

Pictured at top: Susan Wojcicki and Neal Mohan, via their LinkedIn profiles.

Jamie Lang

Jamie Lang is the Editor-in-Chief of Cartoon Brew.