Google confirms Susan Wojcicki to head YouTube

Faith Merino · February 5, 2014 · Short URL:

Will the SVP of advertising revamp YouTube's crappy mobile display ads?

Google has confirmed that Susan Wojcicki—SVP of advertising for Google, famed 16th Google employee, and owner of a notoriously hard-to-spell Polish last name—has been tapped to head YouTube.

"Salar and the whole YouTube team have built something amazing. YouTube is a billion person global community, curating videos for every possibility,” said CEO Larry Page, in a statement. “Anyone uploading their creative content can reach the whole world and even make money. Like Salar, Susan has a healthy disregard for the impossible and is excited about improving YouTube in ways that people will love.”

The news was first reported by The Information late Tuesday night and was reiterated by Wednesday morning.

Wojcicki will be taking over for Salar Kamangar, Google’s ninth hire and YouTube’s most recent CEO following the departure of YouTube’s founder and former CEO Chad Hurley in 2010. Kamangar, who was reportedly interested in doing something else outside of YouTube, is expected to move to another role within Google.

Wojcicki has been named number 30 in Forbes’ 2013 list of Power Women, and she is credited with generating 87% of Google’s $50 billion revenue in 2012. In her position as SVP of advertising, Wojcicki was in charge of all of Google’s ad products, including AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, and Analytics.

The move to YouTube makes sense given the fact that Sridhar Ramaswamy recently joined Google’s senior team to head commerce initiatives, which effectively cut Susan Wojcicki’s responsibilities in half.

Wojcicki’s installation at YouTube could signal a future in which stronger emphasis will be placed on advertising as the number of videos on YouTube continues to outpace advertising demand. We could also end up seeing some much-needed mobile ad renovation. Currently, YouTube mobile relies on teeny tiny banner ads—and those ads are annoying as f*ck. Surveys have shown that mobile users strongly dislike mobile banner ads, and they’re fairly ineffective—up to 50% of mobile banner ad clicks are purely accidental.

Nevertheless, YouTube is estimated to have generated $5.6 billion in gross ad revenue in 2013, according to eMarketer. After paying advertising partners and content creators, YouTube will take home $1.96 billion. That’s a 65.5% increase over 2012. In the U.S., YouTube will take home $1.08 billion, which accounts for just 6.3% of Google’s net U.S. ad revenues.

YouTube now accounts for 20.5% of the U.S. video ad market. 


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