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Susan Diane Wojcicki
July 5, 1968
|Education||Harvard University (BA)|
University of California, Santa Cruz (MS)
University of California, Los Angeles (MBA)
|Known for||CEO of YouTube|
|Relatives||Janina Wójcicka Hoskins (grandmother)|
Anne Wojcicki (sister)
Wojcicki was involved in the founding of Google, and became Google's first marketing manager in 1999. She later led the company's online advertising business and was put in charge of Google's original video service. After observing the success of YouTube, Wojcicki proposed the acquisition of YouTube by Google in 2006, and has served as CEO of YouTube since 2014.
Wojcicki has an estimated net worth of $815 million.
Early life and education
Susan Diane Wojcicki was born on July 5, 1968 to Esther Wojcicki, an educator of Jewish descent, and Stanley Wojcicki, a Polish-American physics professor at Stanford University. She has two sisters: Janet Wojcicki, (PhD, anthropologist and epidemiologist) and Anne Wojcicki, founder of 23andMe. She grew up on the Stanford campus with George Dantzig as a neighbor. She attended Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California, and wrote for the school newspaper.
Wojcicki's first business was selling "spice ropes" door-to-door at age 11. A humanities major in college, she took her first computer science class as a senior.
Wojcicki studied history and literature at Harvard University and graduated with honors in 1990. She originally planned on getting a Ph.D. in economics and pursuing a career in academia but changed her plans when she discovered an interest in technology.
She also received her Master's of Science in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1993 and a Master of Business Administration from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 1998.
In September 1998, the same month that Google was incorporated, its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin set up office in Wojcicki's garage in Menlo Park. Before becoming Google's first marketing manager in 1999, Wojcicki worked in marketing at Intel Corporation in Santa Clara, California, and was a management consultant at Bain & Company and R.B. Webber & Company. At Google, she worked on the initial viral marketing programs, as well as the first Google Doodles. She also co-developed and launched Google Image Search with engineer Huican Zhu.
In 2003, Wojcicki helped lead the development of one of Google's seminal advertising products—AdSense. She served as its first product manager, and for her efforts, was awarded the Google Founders' Award. She rose to become Google's senior vice president of Advertising & Commerce, and oversaw the company's advertising and analytic products, including AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, and Google Analytics.
CEO of YouTube
In February 2014, Wojcicki became the CEO of YouTube. She was called "the most important person in advertising," as well as named one of Time's 100 most influential people in 2015 and described in a later issue of Time as “the most powerful woman on the Internet.”
In the time that Wojcicki has been CEO of YouTube, the company announced that it had reached 2 billion logged-in users a month and that users were watching one billion hours a day. In January 2021, she announced that over the previous three years, YouTube had paid more than $30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies. There are localized versions of YouTube in 100 countries around the world across 80 languages. Since taking on the role of CEO, YouTube's percentage of female employees has risen from 24 to nearly 30 percent.
Wojcicki also oversaw the development and release of new YouTube applications and experiences designed to cater to users interested in family gaming, and music content. Under her leadership, the company developed up to 10 forms of monetization for YouTube creators, including channel memberships, merchandise, BrandConnect, and paid digital goods like Super Chat. She also oversaw the launch of YouTube's advertisement-free subscription service, YouTube Premium (formerly known as YouTube Red), and its over-the-top (OTT) internet television service YouTube TV. In 2020, the company launched YouTube Shorts, its short-form video experience, which recently surpassed 15 billion daily views. In September 2021, YouTube publicized that the company had surpassed 50 million Music and Premium subscribers, including trialers. The company also reported over 100 billion hours of global gaming content watched on the platform in 2020.
During her tenure, YouTube has tightened its policy on videos it regards as potentially violating its policies on hate speech and violent extremism. The more stringent policies came after The Times showed that "ads sponsored by the British government and several private sector companies had appeared ahead of YouTube videos supporting terrorist groups" and several large advertisers withdrew their ads from YouTube in response. The enforcement policies have been criticized as censorship. Some YouTubers argue that the demonetization system is way too strict, causing any remotely "edgy" content to get demonetized and in some cases even resulting in the creator's channel being removed. During the controversy surrounding Logan Paul's YouTube video about a person that committed suicide, Wojcicki said that Paul did not violate YouTube's three-strike policy and did not meet the criteria for being banned from the platform.
Wojcicki has emphasized educational content as a priority for the company, and on July 20, 2018, announced the initiative YouTube Learning, which invests in grants and promotion to support education focused creator content.
On October 22, 2018, Wojcicki wrote that Article 13, as written in the European Union Copyright Directive, would make YouTube directly liable for copyrighted content, and poses a threat to content creators' ability to share their work.
On April 15, 2021, Wojcicki was presented the “Free Expression Award” by the Freedom Forum Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing First Amendment freedoms. The award ceremony was criticized for being sponsored by her own platform.
In 2014, Wojcicki joined the board of Salesforce. She also serves on the board of Room to Read, an organization that focuses on literacy and gender equality in education, and is a board member of UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Wojcicki married Dennis Troper on August 23, 1998, in Belmont, California. They have five children. On December 16, 2014, ahead of taking her fifth maternity leave, Wojcicki wrote an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal about the importance of paid maternity leave. She is often quoted talking about the importance of finding balance between family and career.
In addition to her U.S. citizenship, she is a Polish citizen. Her grandfather, Franciszek Wójcicki, was a People's Party and Polish People's Party politician who had been elected MP during the 1947 Polish legislative election. Her grandmother, Janina Wójcicka Hoskins, was a Polish-American librarian at the Library of Congress, responsible for building the largest collection of Polish material in the United States.
Wojcicki has been an advocate for several causes, including the expansion of paid family leave, the plight of Syrian refugees, countering gender discrimination at technology companies, and getting girls interested in computer science and prioritizing coding in schools.
- In 2013, she was named #1 on the Adweek Top 50 Execs list, which recognizes the top media executives within an organization.
- In 2017, she ranked #6 on Forbes' list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women.
- In 2018, she ranked #10 on Fortune's list of Most Powerful Women.
- Wojcicki is currently ranked #41 on Forbes' list of America's Self-Made Women.
- on YouTube
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