YouTube Has Its First Female CEO

by Andrea Garcia-Vargas

On Wednesday, Google confirmed that YouTube's executive ranks will indeed be shifting around: Google's senior vice president of ads and commerce, Susan Wojcicki, will replace Salar Kamangar as CEO of YouTube. Kamangar will likely stay on at Google, and has stated in the past that he would consider stepping down as YouTube CEO and changing to a new position. Many media outlets are speculating that the decision signals that Google wants Wojcicki to strategize an advertising-centric vision for YouTube and increase the video-sharing website's profitability. Wojcicki's advertising division was incredibly successful in 2013, bringing in $50 billion in revenue, which accounted for about 89 percent of Google's yearly revenue.

YouTube, on the other hand, is not doing so hot. Jason Calacanis, a famous Internet entrepreneur, has said that "YouTube is an awesome place to build a brand, but it's a terrible place to build a business." And he's absolutely right — the shareability of YouTube videos brings exposure to YouTube users and allows them to build a following. Profits? Not so much. YouTube may have brought in about $5.6 billion in gross revenue last year — which is $1.96 billion net revenue, according to eMarketer — but ad prices have been plunging. With the promotion of Wojcicki, Google is likely trying to turn that trend around.

Wojcicki's appointment is also another step toward making Silicon Valley and the tech industry more welcoming to women: She is the first female CEO of YouTube, and its third CEO ever, succeeding both Kamangar and Chad Hurley, the co-founder of YouTube. Fun facts: Besides being the mastermind behind AdSense, Wojcicki was also Google's 16th employee and housed Google in her garage in its early years as a company.

From a garage to the CEO office? That's quite the story to tell your grandkids.