YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki Steps Down, Ending An Era Full Of Controversies And Changes

February 16th, 2023 - 3:57 PM EST by Aidan Walker

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Susan Wojcicki, surrounded by logos of YouTube and google and a tweet announcing her retirement.

YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has decided to step down and "start a new chapter" according to a statement she released earlier today, leading to a slew of mixed reactions among creators and users on the platform.

Wojcicki has been in charge of the video-hosting site for nine years, and during her time at YouTube's helm, she helped grow the platform and integrate it into Google's larger business following the company's acquisition.

However, content moderation decisions made by Wojcicki and her team over the last several years upset both the political right and the left, and some accused her of prioritizing the interests of advertisers over the interest of creators.

Wojcicki is one of the most prominent women in the tech industry, and her relationship with Google began when she rented out her garage to the fledgling company. From there, she worked in marketing and advertising for Google. She was reportedly instrumental in convincing Google to buy YouTube in 2006.

In her stead, she will be succeeded by her longtime second-in-command, Neal Mohan.

It's well-known that YouTubers weren't always happy with Wojcicki during her tenure. Almost a quarter of a million people signed a petition to fire her, citing monetization policies geared to please advertisers.

She also oversaw the controversial removal of the dislike button in 2021, a decision which bothered many YouTubers and users alike. Another decision this year to automatically demonetize videos in which creators swear within the first 15 seconds was widely criticized by creators who saw the people leading YouTube as out-of-touch.

Wojcicki did, however, interact with the content creator community, including a 2022 interview with YouTuber and streamer Ludwig about the platform and its policies.

Alongside those celebrating her resignation as the head of the platform, some also praised Wojcicki's leadership of YouTube, arguing that being CEO of a company as large as YouTube is one of those jobs like being president that nobody can really do perfectly.

The future of YouTube is definitely in flux, as many of the big social media platforms face new tremors, such as an uncertain economic future, the rise of new technologies like AI and continued questions about the feasibility of an advertising-based internet.

It's unknown what the shakeup will ultimately mean for YouTube, but some joked about who could take charge instead of Mohan if they had their own say in the matter.

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