YouTube’s Susan Wojcicki steps down, leaving Large Tech with no feminine CEOs


YouTube chief government Susan Wojcicki will step down after almost a decade on the helm of the Google-owned video website, leaving all the main social media and leisure platforms within the administration of males.

Wojcicki is among the most outstanding girls in Silicon Valley, which for years has struggled to diversify. She has been a part of Google because the firm’s beginnings in 1998. Google acquired YouTube, one of many world’s most vital leisure platforms, in 2006.

Wojcicki is leaving to spend extra time together with her household and give attention to her well being and private initiatives, based on a letter she despatched to workers that was posted on YouTube’s company weblog. She has hung out previously months away from the workplace for well being causes, mentioned an individual who spoke on the situation of anonymity to debate the delicate matter. She will likely be changed by Neal Mohan, YouTube’s head of product, who first got here to Google by way of the corporate’s acquisition of promoting tech platform DoubleClick in 2008.

With Mohan taking up, the CEOs of Twitter, Fb, Snap, Netflix, Disney and YouTube at the moment are all males.

“It’s at all times such a big effect when any individual who’s a girl at such a high-profile place leaves,” mentioned Sheryl Daija, CEO and founding father of Bridge, a company that represents variety, fairness and inclusion leaders. “As we lose girls leaders, we additionally threat dropping the subsequent era of girls. As we lose leaders which are folks of colour, we then threat dropping the subsequent era of individuals of colour. So there’s this domino impact.”

Wojcicki’s departure is a significant altering of the guard for Google. It was in Wojcicki’s Silicon Valley storage that Larry Web page and Sergey Brin started constructing the search large. Brin later married her sister, and Wojcicki stayed with the corporate, rising by way of the ranks and holding numerous main roles earlier than being appointed head of YouTube in 2014.

Wojcicki was seen by many Google workers as kind of a member of Brin and Web page’s household, given her lengthy relationship with them and standing as one of many firm’s founding workers. Her identify was floated by some as a possible future CEO of Google.

As a substitute, many high-profile girls in tech have stepped down from their roles earlier than turning into CEO. Wojcicki’s departure follows different high-profile feminine leaders who’ve left massive expertise firms. Earlier this week, Meta Chief Enterprise Officer Marne Levine introduced she could be leaving after 13 years on the firm. Final 12 months, Sheryl Sandberg introduced she was stepping down as chief working officer after a 14-year stint on the social media large.

These departures depart the ranks of girls within the c-suite of main tech firms even thinner. Deborah Liu, a former Fb government, is the CEO of, whereas Safra Catz is the CEO of software program firm Oracle.

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The current spate of job cuts within the tech sector has jeopardized the progress many main firms made in diversifying their workforces throughout the pandemic with the lure of distant work. Silicon Valley layoffs have hit girls notably exhausting, as a result of they have been newer to their jobs and occupied roles that firms have been much less concerned about retaining, based on specialists.

Attrition charges for individuals who work in roles selling variety, fairness and inclusion have outpaced different roles at greater than 600 U.S. firms that laid off staff since late 2020 — a disparity that grew worse previously six months, based on knowledge from Revelio Labs, an organization that analyzes traits within the labor market.

“The [economic] uncertainty will imply staff who’re already not fairly your stereotypical tech bro is likely to be extra in jeopardy,” mentioned Reyhan Ayas, a senior economist at Revelio Labs.

Wojcicki oversaw large progress, taking YouTube from round a billion customers a couple of decade in the past to the over 2 billion individuals who use it month-to-month in the present day. She additionally oversaw the growth of YouTube’s Creator program and helped spearhead efforts to assist creators monetize their work. Throughout her tenure, YouTube was certainly one of Google’s most vital income progress drivers, going from $3.6 billion in income within the fourth quarter of 2018, when the corporate first broke out YouTube’s monetary numbers, to just about $8 billion within the fourth quarter of 2022. Wall Road analysts generally identified, nevertheless, that YouTube’s income per person was considerably decrease than such opponents as Fb.

Over time, Wojcicki additionally confronted scrutiny over how YouTube dealt with problematic content material. Throughout her tenure, activists and regulators world wide criticized the corporate for permitting hate speech, misinformation and conspiracy theories. Even earlier than the pandemic, anti-vaccine influencers had grown standard on the platform, and the location had grow to be a key a part of the ecosystem of vaccine skeptics that exploded when the coronavirus started spreading.

The corporate has additionally confronted the ire of civil rights teams and lawmakers over its lack of transparency about how the platform fights misinformation in languages aside from English and the unfold of election-misinformation on its social community. Final 12 months, Wojcicki promised members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus in a personal assembly to supply extra knowledge about how misinformation in Spanish is moderated on the video-sharing community, based on the lawmakers.

“We’ve tried to interact with YouTube for years, in makes an attempt to higher perceive how the platform moderates content material and whether or not it applies its guidelines equitably throughout the globe and throughout languages,” Nora Benavidez, a senior counsel and director of digital justice and civil rights at media and expertise advocacy group Free Press, mentioned in an announcement. “The transition of management is a important second for YouTube to step up its sport to prioritize engagement with the civil and human rights subject.”

Wojcicki additionally made the choice, together with Google CEO Sundar Pichai, to ban Donald Trump from YouTube after the Jan. 6, 2021, assault on the U.S. Capitol. When Fb mentioned earlier this 12 months that it will rescind its ban on Trump, the main target swung as to whether YouTube would do the identical. YouTube’s ban stays, for now.

Taylor Lorenz contributed to this report.


A earlier model of this text incorrectly mentioned that the storage rented by Google’s founders was positioned on the home of Wojcicki’s dad and mom. It was positioned at her home. The article has been corrected.

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