Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOG) named Susan Wojcicki as the new CEO of YouTube. The American businesswoman was previously senior vice president in charge of the company’s advertising products.
Wojcicki, 45, who rented her Menlo Park, Calif., gargage to Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page in the early days of the company, became Google's 16th employee a year after it was incorporated in 1998 and moved into a Palo Alto office. Wojcicki had been in charge of AdSense, AdWords, Analytics and DoubleClick and Google. She succeeds Salar Kamangar, senior vice president of YouTube. Google hasn't said what role Kamangar, its ninth employee, will have in the company.
Talks of a leadership change at YouTube have been afoot since last year, as “channels” have had lackluster results for advertisers, and ad prices have been steady and even fallen in many cases, according to a tech news site called The Information that was launched last year by former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin. The Information's Amir Efrati wrote that lower demand for YouTube ads has made it difficult for the site to bring in higher-priced content from professional sports or cable programming.
Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement about the executive change and YouTube:
"Salar and the whole YouTube team have built something amazing. YouTube is a billion person global community curating videos for every possibility. 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."
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Wojcicki’s work in Google ads represented the lion’s share of the company’s profits, or more than 91 percent, in 2013. She praised YouTube’s move to TrueView advertising, saying the model would become the norm -- where marketers only pay if their ads are watched. Wojcicki said that the industry was “moving to a model where the user is choosing to see the ads.”
Excited to join #YouTube - wonderful team, amazing community & inspiring creators. I look forward to watching a lot more videos during work.
â€” Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) February 5, 2014
Wojcicki is married to Dennis Troper, Google’s director of product management. Her sister, Anne, married Brin in 2007, although they announced last year that they were living separately.
Follow reporter Thomas Halleck on Twitter @tommylikey