YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki announced Thursday that she is stepping down from the role after spending nearly 25 years between Google and the video-sharing platform.
Wojcicki began working at YouTube’s parent company Google in 1999, managing marketing and helping to create the image search function.
“Over the years, I’ve worn many hats and done so many things: managed marketing, co-created Google Image Search, led Google’s first Video and Book search, as well as early parts of AdSense’s creation, worked on the YouTube and DoubleClick acquisitions, served as SVP of Ads, and for the last nine years, the CEO of YouTube,” Wojcicki wrote in a memo to employees that was subsequently released publicly. “I took on each challenge that came my way because it had a mission that benefited so many people’s lives around the world: finding information, telling stories and supporting creators, artists, and small businesses. I’m so proud of everything we’ve achieved. It’s been exhilarating, meaningful, and all-consuming.”
The memo said, “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.”
Wojcicki also addressed YouTubers, crediting them with creating “the largest creative economy the world has ever seen.”
“For all the YouTubers I’ve had the privilege to work with, you have done so much to make this platform better over the years,” she wrote. “You created the largest creative economy the world has ever seen, enabled entirely new forms of art and storytelling, and supported millions of creators and artists to reach new audiences—all while investing in responsible growth so that this brilliant community of creators, artists, viewers, and advertisers could not only co-exist but thrive together. Thank you!”
Chief product officer Neal Mohan will be taking over as the new head of YouTube. Wojcicki said she will continue to have an “advisory role across Google and Alphabet.”
“As for me, in the short term, I plan to support Neal and help with the transition, which will include continuing to work with some YouTube teams, coaching team members, and meeting with creators,” the letter explained. “In the longer term, I’ve agreed with Sundar to take on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet. This will allow me to call on my different experiences over the years to offer counsel and guidance across Google and the portfolio of Alphabet companies. It’s an incredibly important time for Google—it reminds me of the early days—incredible product and technology innovation, huge opportunities, and a healthy disregard for the impossible.”