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As Susan Wojcicki Steps Down, YouTube Gets New Desi CEO: Who Is Neal Mohan?

Mohan now joins the list of Indian origin CEOs leading tech giants around the world

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YouTube is set to undergo a change in leadership after Susan Wojcicki announced that she will be resigning as CEO, and added that Indian-American Neal Mohan is set to take her place.

In an email that was posted online by YouTube on Thursday, 16 February, Wojcicki said that she intends to "start a new chapter focused on my family, health, and personal projects I’m passionate about."

Wojcicki's history at Google goes back 25 years. She was picked to head YouTube in 2014 after spending a few years as a senior vice-president for ad products at Google.

The 54-year-old was on a mission to make YouTube more accessible to advertisers while managing video creators who power their website. With Wojcicki's efforts, the platform became one of the crown jewels of Alphabet and generated close to $29 billion in ad sales in 2022.

Wojcicki will be succeeded by the tech company's chief product officer, Indian-American Neal Mohan, who will take over the reins of the video streaming service in the near term, with support and assistance from Wojcicki, who said that she will be taking up an “advisory role across Google and Alphabet."

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Who Is Neal Mohan?

Mohan thanked Wojcicki and tweeted, “It’s been amazing to work with you (Wojcicki) over the years. You’ve built YouTube into an extraordinary home for creators and viewers. I’m excited to continue this awesome and important mission. Looking forward to what lies ahead…”

Born in Lucknow in the mid-1970s, Neal Mohan graduated Stanford University with a four-year Bachelor of Science degree after studying Electrical Engineering and eventually went on to enrol for an MBA at Stanford's Graduate School of Business in the early 2000s.

He initially worked at Accenture, which was owned by Arthur Andersen at the time, and subsequently joined a startup called Net Gravity, where he became a key figure for the company's operations and expansion.

Mohan became a part of DoubleClick, an internet advertising company which bought Net Gravity, for many years and became an essential part of the company's central business affairs.

Following Google's acquisition of DoubleClick in 2007, a move that was largely orchestrated Wojcicki, he joined the tech giant and went on to become an prominent figure in its operations, to the point that when Twitter tried to hire him as their chief product officer, Google paid the Indian American $100 million in bonuses, hoping that he'd stay.

Mohan stayed on board Google as senior vice president of display and video ads, before he was moved to Youtube as chief product officer, where he oversaw the launch of several YouTube products such as YouTube TV, YouTube Music, Premium, and Shorts.

He is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, an independent US think tank.

Describing Mohan in a Youtube blog that announced her exit, Wojcicki said, "He has a wonderful sense for our product, our business, our creator and user communities, and our employees...Neal will be a terrific leader for YouTube," she added.

Mohan urrently serves on the board of companies like Stitch Fix, a personal styling service and 23andme, a genetic testing firm that was co-founded by Susan Wojcicki's sister and Sergey Brin's ex-wife Anne Wojcicki

Mohan now joins the list of Indian origin CEOs leading tech giants around the world, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai, and Adobe CEO Shantanu Narayen.

He also joins a group of Indian origin CEOs who've been chosen to spearhead iconic American brands, like Laxman Narasimhan, who is set to take over the reins of Starbucks, and FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam.

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