Susan Wojcicki steps down as CEO to become Google Advisor

MICHAEL LIEDTKE (AP Technology Writer)

Longtime Google executive Susan Wojcicki, who played a key role in founding YouTube, is stepping down as YouTube CEO after spending the past nine years running a video site that reshaped entertainment, culture and politics. .

In an email to YouTube employees published Thursday, Wojcicki, 54, said, “I’m starting a new chapter focused on my family, my health, and the personal projects I’m passionate about.” I said I would retire because She didn’t elaborate on her plan.

Neil Mohan, who has worked closely with Wojcicki for years, will succeed her as CEO of YouTube.

Wojcicki has become one of the most respected female executives in the male-dominated tech industry, but will also be remembered as Google’s first landlord.

Shortly after Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin brought the search engine into the business in 1998, Wojcicki rented the garage of his home in Menlo Park, California for $1,700 a month.

Page and Brin were 25 at the time. After spending five months refining his search engine in Wojcicki’s garage, he moved Google to a more formal office before convincing his former landlord to work for his company.

“It will be one of the best decisions of my life,” Wojcicki wrote in her resignation announcement.

In 2006, Google bought Wojcicki’s home to serve as a monument to commemorate the roots of the company, now valued at $1.2 trillion. During Wojcicki’s career at Google, Brin became her stepbrother when she married her sister, Anne, in 2007. Brin and Anne Wojcicki divorced in 2015.

Wojcicki’s resignation is one of YouTube’s most difficult times since Google’s 2006 acquisition of the quirky video site, which faced widespread copyright infringement complaints, for an announced price of $1.65 billion. is done when facing The all-stock transaction was valued at $1.76 billion by the time the transaction closed.

Google was initially ridiculed for paying a lot for a video service with a dubious future, but it turned out to be a bargain. Not only has YouTube become a cultural phenomenon attracting billions of viewers, but it has also become a financial success, with ad revenue reaching his $29 billion last year. That’s up from his $8 billion in annual ad revenue in 2017, when Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc. began disclosing YouTube’s financial earnings.

However, in the last six months of last year, YouTube’s ad revenue was down 5% year-on-year. This is the first prolonged downturn the video service has seen since Alphabet pulled back its financial curtain. The analyst fears the recession will continue this year, one of the reasons Alphabet’s shares have fallen about 10% since the company released its latest quarterly report two weeks ago.

Wojcicki also resigns days before the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hold oral arguments in a lawsuit that threatens the freewheeling style that has long been one of YouTube’s greatest advantages.

The case stems from the death of an American woman who died in Paris during an Islamic State attack in 2015, prompting the victim’s family to sue YouTube’s algorithm for helping recruit terrorist groups. If a court ruled that a technology company could be held liable for material posted on the site, experts say the repercussions would not only destroy YouTube, but rock the entire internet. said it is possible.

This is because under US law, internet companies are generally exempt from liability for what users post on their networks. Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996 — itself part of the broader Telecommunications Act — provides a legal “safe harbor” for Internet companies — YouTube co-founders Chad Hurley and Steve Chen used this protection as an opportunity to launch as a video site. To “broadcast itself”.


Barbara Ortutay, AP Technology Writer and Michelle Chapman, AP Business Writer contributed to this article. Susan Wojcicki steps down as CEO to become Google Advisor

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