YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has been with Google since 1998 and has been the head of YouTube since 2014. With Google’s recent reinvention as Alphabet, YouTube remained a Google property, with Wojcicki still at the helm. And there’s no question why she’s continuing in her leadership role at YouTube: she’s consistently pushed the company to innovate and become the leader in delivering online video content.
Here are some fun facts about YouTube CEO, Susan Wojcicki.
- Wojcicki is a Silicon Valley native. She was born and bred there, before it became the tech and startup hotspot it is now.
- Wojcicki has been with Google since the beginning: she was their 16th employee and the company actually worked out of her garage for its first few months.
- Her first big decision on the job? Leaving that garage behind and moving the company to Mountain View.
- You know Google’s AdSense? You can thank Wojcicki for that. She came up with the innovative idea to adapt Google’s AdWords into the self-service platform that it is today.
- Wojcicki spearheaded Google’s Youtube purchase. At the time, she was in charge of Google Video and YouTube was her most promising competitor. Since Google acquired YouTube in 2006, the once-small online video service’s value has ballooned. As of May of this year, YouTube was valued at $80 billion, leaving eBay, Yahoo, and Starbucks in its dust.
- Google’s search engine dominance is also Wojcicki’s handiwork: she’s responsible for originally marketing their search engine services, which she did with a budget of exactly zero dollars. How did she do it? She started by partnering with universities and having them include a Google search bar in their websites--and everything grew from there.
- Many YouTube creators have been impressed with Wojcicki’s efforts to engage them and understand their needs. Wojcicki has reached out to YouTube talent, and she’s worked to understand their needs and goals. Her keynote address at VidCon, a conference for industry executives, YouTube artists, and fans, speaks to her connection to and interest in the YouTube community.
- She sees virtual reality as YouTube’s new frontier. With Facebook and Vessel emerging as increasingly prominent viral video competitors, YouTube needs to innovate and they’re doing so by empowering creators to build immersive, 3-D content. "We want to empower all of you to chart this new frontier," Wojcicki says.
- Wojcicki has proven that anyone who thinks you can’t balance parenthood and being a top executive is wrong: she’s a mom to five kids. Even though many colleagues assumed she would give up her career when she had her second child, she continued to push for her career.
- Wojcicki believes that having children makes her better at her job. And her job makes her a better mom. She says that, "having the sum of both of those things going on in my life makes me a better mom at the end of the day, and I think it gives me really important perspectives in the workplace as well."
- Wojcicki is a veteran at balancing her home life and her work life: she is always home for dinner, and devotes the hours of 6:00-9:00pm to her family. Any leader can learn from her example.
- Today, Google is a friendly place for working parents: moms-to-be have special parking places, employees get 18 weeks of paid parental leave, and there are nursing rooms on site. But when Wojcicki first started working at the company, she was four months pregnant and nobody at Google had ever taken parental leave. Now, she advocates for federally mandated, paid parental leave, which she hopes will increase the number of women participating in the workforce.