YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is stepping down

Feb 17, 2023
Updated • Feb 17, 2023

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is stepping down

After nine years of being the head of YouTube, Susan Wojcicki is stepping down from her role as CEO of the company. Her second-in-command, Neal Mohan, will be replacing her. According to an internal letter, she decided to leave to focus on her family, health, and other personal projects. 

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki is stepping down

She was one of the few women in IT that held such a position in a major company, and her departure marks the end of an era.

Even though she’s been the YouTube CEO for almost a decade, her story with YouTube’s parent company, Google, goes much further. She joined Larry Page and Sergej Brin in 1998 and was the first to direct Google’s marketing sector. A fun fact not many know is that she was the owner of the garage that Page and Brin originally rented, joining the company later on as its sixteenth employee.

YouTube arguably owes its success to Wojcicki. This is because she convinced the board in 2006 to buy the online video platform for a whopping 1.650 billion dollars. During her tenure, YouTube grew exponentially, generating 29.2 billion dollars in ad sales in 2022 only. This is more than 10 percent of all of Alphabet's revenue. 

Wojcicki had to deal with a difficult balance during YouTube’s early years. She was an open advocate of making YouTube more enticing to advertisers, but that meant developing many policies that were met with criticism from the video creators' side, and even users. For instance, the way comments were moderated, and less tolerance for certain contents. The YouTube partner program also got more restricted.

One wonders what a difficult role she had, trying to increase YouTube’s income while not destroying its life force at the same time, that is, content creators. However, according to the impressive revenue numbers, she succeeded in making the platform grow to new heights.

The company also had to deal with changes in trends and was at the forefront when it came to potential competitors. It sometimes integrated with them to gain some foothold. This approach allowed Wojcicki and her team to develop new ideas and products, such as YouTube TV and YouTube Music. The platform also introduced paid memberships.

In her letter, she stressed the importance of the current times for the Alphabet companies, of which YouTube is part. She claimed that we’re in a very innovative era, much like the early days of Google, with massive opportunities for new products and services.

Her successor Neal Mohan was at her side during her time as YouTube’s CEO, and even further back. He started at Google after the company acquired DoubleClick in 2007, becoming YouTube’s Chief Product Officer in 2015. 

Intriguingly, she hinted that the next decade for YouTube will involve AI somehow and that because of that Mohan was the perfect person to lead the company in this new, innovative era. The future is yet to be told, but for YouTube, Wojcicki ensured she left the position in good hands.

The End of an Era: Susan Wojcicki Steps Down from YouTube


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  1. Mystique said on February 23, 2023 at 2:51 pm

    1080p looks like it may be locked behind a subscription soon from what I have heard.

  2. Mystique said on February 20, 2023 at 4:44 am

    Yes, content creators are one component of it and then there is the fact that there exists so many addons, scripts and extensions for youtube to make it function pretty nicely where as other platforms do not have anything in the way of support.

    Another big reason is the name Youtube carries a lot of weight and lets not forget how tightly it is embedded within phones also.

    I don’t know much about other platforms but Youtube often yields money for content creators also so there is no compelling reason to go to other platforms. Even with a good Patreon subscription base it makes no sense to move to a platform that will more than half your potential viewership and certainly limit your exposure to newer audiences.
    It takes a lot to topple Youtube just as it does to replace twitter and instagram. Another similarity would be Microsoft and its Windows OS. It’s not getting any better and some would say worse yet here we are still using Windows.

  3. Rex said on February 19, 2023 at 4:28 am

    All this talk of competition is moot because people follow content creators, not platforms. As long as most of the content stays on Youtube, that’s what people will use. A few have started mirroring their videos on other platforms but they’re a tiny fraction of the whole.

    1. Jody Thornton said on February 19, 2023 at 7:07 pm

      I was also going to say to all of the haters of Susan, and for modern day YouTube, influencers are where it’s at. Users, en masse, are not looking as much for all of the old televisions clips as they used to. My girlfriend looks at about twenty influencers, and even I view about fifteen in the tech and audio realm.

      Besides, it’s been twice now that I’ve asked someone to clarify about freedom of speech, and what is censored, by either YouTube or Mozilla. NO ONE ever speaks up, which USUALLY says to me it’s probably about being able to say something “unspeakable”.and without consequences.

  4. the chair is against the wall said on February 19, 2023 at 3:20 am

    Neal Mohan, “who is the fourth and current CEO of YouTube, succeeding Susan Wojcicki on February 16, 2023” “has also worked with Microsoft!”




    I SWEAR, THERE’S A M$oftie behind every berry bush with fingers in the pie.

  5. Anonymous said on February 17, 2023 at 10:38 pm

    Good thing she left. YouTube has been utterly destroyed by her. They need to return the dislike button and oldest video sorting option.

  6. yanta said on February 17, 2023 at 10:03 pm

    Better the devil you know than the one you don’t, but still, good riddance.
    She’s be instrumental in the development of one of the greatest censorship platforms on the planet, just behind Google, Facebook and Microsoft

    1. Rex said on February 19, 2023 at 4:26 am

      //behind Google
      Who do you think owns Youtube? It’s a division of Google, not some independent company.

    2. Jody Thornton said on February 18, 2023 at 8:42 am

      But what sort of things does YouTube REALLY censor?

      1. Peterc said on February 20, 2023 at 12:03 am

        @Jody Thornton:

        Most of YouTube’s [and Google Search’s] censorship is “soft censorship” via the politically subjective ranking algorithms Alphabet/Google introduced sometime in spring 2017 in response to guidelines issued by an NGO spawned by the Atlantic Council (“NATO’s think tank”). If you know exactly what you’re looking for and use an adequately targeted search, responsive results will *probably* come up on the first page of hits, or at the very least on the first two or three pages. But if you’re a John Doe who’s unfamiliar with non-mainstream sources of information and opinion, and you do a broad search on a topic or issue, the above “responsive but non-mainstream results” might not come up until the 20th or 30th page of hits (which no one but a dedicated researcher ever gets to) — even though they would have been ranked *much* higher prior to the introduction of subjective algorithms.

        I don’t follow dissident right-wing sites as closely as I do dissident left-wing sites, but I know that many of the latter lost upwards of 70% of their former page hits after the algorithms were introduced — and their share of ad revenue along with it. At least one “progressive” site I’m familiar with has since then “toed the line” on US/NATO’s most prominent current military operations, I would guess in order to remain financially viable. It’s certainly being less soft-censored now than it was in the immediate aftermath of “algorithm-gate.”

        Soft censorship is *much more effective* than hard censorship: 95%+ of citizens are never exposed to dissenting viewpoints and remain blithely unaware that censorship is even at play. They can continue to believe that they (still?) enjoy a “free, independent, and competitive press” and that they remain (?) “well informed.”

        But Alphabet/Google engages in hard censorship as well. For some time, RT [fka Russia Today] was pretty much the only mainstream TV channel in the US that afforded airtime and actual recurring shows to leftish/progressive dissidents. [This was rather obviously not because post-Soviet-Union Russia is remotely left-wing; it’s most definitely *not*. It was clearly because “the political critic of my strategic adversary is my friend.”] At any rate, because the US government, most EU governments, and NATO have decreed Russia an enemy state, YouTube took down *all* of RT’s archived videos, including Chris Hedges’ “On Contact,” Lee Camp’s “Redacted Tonight,” and Rafael Correa’s “A Conversation with Correa” [“Conversando con Correa”]. It’s possible that Lee Camp touched on Russia tangentially at some point, but the overwhelming bulk of his *years* of coverage and commentary had nothing to do with Russia. Ditto for Chris Hedges, who affirmed after the takedown that he *never* did a story involving Russia. [No hablo español, so I can’t speak to Rafael Correa.] If you believe in the principles underlying the First Amendment (whether your country has a functional equivalent to the First Amendment or not), and you believe that a functioning democracy requires a well-informed citizenry with access to *all* points of view, this should bother you.

        A good illustration of hard censorship (much of it by YouTube) as it pertains to the Julian Assange case can be found here:

        Assange: Defamers and defenders slugging it out on divers media platforms (Part 1) – The Greanville Post
        Published: April 18, 2019
        Last Updated: September 25, 2022

        Assange: Defamers and defenders slugging it out on divers media platforms (Part 2)—The Defamers – The Greanville Post
        Published: April 18, 2019
        Last Updated: August 29, 2022

        In the US, half of the cited “pro-Assange” videos are blocked; in the EU, NATO-member countries, and NATO-friendly countries, I would *guess* the results are much the same. I find this *chilling*. I don’t always agree with non-mainstream viewpoints (foreign or domestic, right or left), but I *definitely* want to be able to consider dissident and even “enemy” facts, analyses, and opinions before making up my own mind. I don’t want *my* awareness, knowledge, opinions, and conclusions to be vetted, approved, and served up to me by a $1.4-trillion-market-cap conglomerate working at the behest of a government/military alliance — and I don’t think any other “ordinary citizen” should, either.

        PS: In the US, the newly Republican House of Representatives has been raking Twitter executives over the coals for essentially following the recommendations of Democratic-Party-allied Homeland Security, CIA, and FBI officials in suppressing pro-Republican/anti-Democrat tweets. If Facebook/Meta and Alphabet/Google are next on the chopping block, Susan Wojcicki may be hoping to escape at least the “and watcha gonna do about it?” phase of congressional hearings by stepping down. I guess it’s possible that she or a member of her immediate family actually *has* developed a serious medical condition, or that she just happened to chose *now* as a good time to stop and smell the roses. But from what I’ve observed over the years, when a politician or high-ranking corporate executive steps down citing personal, family, or health reasons, it’s usually for something else entirely. To be fair, though, being threatened with prosecution for conspiracy to violate the First Amendment is not good for *anyone’s* mental health, so “health” could be a valid concern. On the other hand, Alphabet/Google is the fourth biggest conglomerate in the United States, so I doubt very much that Susan Wojcicki is in any real jeopardy.

      2. Mystique_r4 said on February 18, 2023 at 11:36 am

        I thought the new person taking over was largely behind the dislike button being removed. I honestly don’t know but what I do know is that companies like these are never happy with the money they are getting and always want more so I can smell a huge push to disrupt youtube addons/extensions, scripts, adblocking etc.

        It’s rather naive for me to think she is innocent likewise of anyone else to think that this guy is suddenly going to steer the ship in a wildly different direction particularly to that of which many would like. It’s clear they shared the similar vision for what youtube is today.

        The real sad part is that there is no real valid alternatives. VEOH, Rumble, Peertube, odysee…
        Paleeeease!! Its nice to think that these platforms could compete but clearly they are not.

        Btw I am not speaking from a political point of view.

        I sense a knock on Mozilla’s door coming soon and various a

      3. Mystique said on February 18, 2023 at 11:41 am

        * I sense a knock on Mozilla’s door coming soon and also same for various youtube related applications and projects also. If not some direct attempts to prevent any of these from working well or at all.

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