Wojcicki, 45, is replacing Salar Kamangar, senior VP of YouTube and video.
Google CEO Larry Page said in a statement: “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.”
The decision to put Wojcicki in charge of YouTube shows how important the Internet’s No. 1 video site has become to Google, and how critical it is to the company’s future growth. In 2013, YouTube generated about $5.6 billion in gross revenue — about 10% of Google total sales — and YouTube netted $2 billion (up 66% year over year) after paying content partners, according to research firm eMarketer. Google does not break out YouTube’s financial results.
Wojcicki joined Google in 1999 as the 16th employee, becoming the search engine’s first marketing exec, and founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin initially ran the company out of her garage in Menlo Park, Calif. She cut the company’s first deals to license search technology and led the initial development of Google’s image search.
In her various stints at Google, Wojcicki has overseen product management of AdSense, Google Book Search and Google Video as well as the syndication of the company’s products. Prior to Google, she worked at Intel, Bain & Co. and R.B. Webber & Co.
In October 2010, Google appointed Kamangar — the ninth employee at the company — to be CEO of YouTube, replacing cofounder Chad Hurley. Google did not say what role Kamangar will have in the company; a source said he is expected to starting and leading some early-stage ventures at the company.