Meet The New Head Of Youtube & Your New Tech Hero: Susan Wojcicki

susan_wojcicki

Attention all tech women, meet your new silicon valley hero: Susan Wojcicki. Can’t pronounce her last name? Don’t worry, it won’t be long before she becomes a household name in tech like Marissa Mayer or Sheryl Sandberg.

Susan being named the head of Youtube is a very exciting move by the world’s largest search engine, Google, which acquired the world’s most popular online video-sharing platform for $1.65 billion in 2006. And Susan had a huge part in that deal.

Silicon valley is certainly not in the business of promoting women to high positions of leadership just to expand diversity, in fact they are one of the most notoriously bad industries for promoting women. According to The Daily Beast, a whopping 49% of tech companies have no women on their boards, that is pretty shocking for 2014.

But in corporate America is it very different. Only 28% of companies don’t have women on their boards. Brands such as Pepsi, Kraft, General Motors and IBM all boast female CEO’s. Susan’s allegiances with Google go way back to it’s beginning days.

Susan, 45,  and her husband Dennis Troper (also now a Google employee) used to rent out their garage space to two Stanford students in 1998 to help pay their mortgage. Those two students were Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders of Google. Susan is a Harvard Graduate who also has an MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Susan eventually was persuaded by Brin and Page to join Google, the new search engine they created, and she became their 18th employee. She was hired to do the marketing for Google and take it to the masses around the world. Fast forward 16 years later, she was the Senior VP of Advertising and Commerce, before her move to head up Youtube.

But the synergy doesn’t end there. Before Google acquired Youtube, the search engine had tried to launch its own online video platform, simply called ‘Google Video’. After failing against Youtube, Susan was the one who suggested they buy the competition instead of trying to beat it. Genius!

Susan-Wojcicki

Aside from her hugely successful tech career, and outside business hours, Susan is a mother of four and is a shining example of a woman who has successfully balanced her career with a family. At her new post she hopes to bring new strategies to advertising, as more and more companies are looking to Youtube as a new form of marketing. Just look at how popular the ‘Dove Real Beauty Sketches‘ video was. It is, to date, the most watched advertising video on Youtube ever, with over 61 million views!

We love the visibility of more women in leadership! Susan’s new role will undoubtedly have its critics, but give a woman a company n crisis and watch what she does with it. Just look at how Marissa Mayer turned around Yahoo in the space of 18 months, making it a more user-friendly network and marketing to a younger audience by buying blogsite Tumblr.

All we need are positive role models and the opportunity to do a great job. That, coupled with hard work, determination and forging your own path, despite the odds which may be stacked against you, will really show why women in leadership is a good thing.

Google CEO Larry Page had this to say about the new head of Youtube: “Susan has a healthy disregard for the impossible and is excited about improving YouTube in ways that people will love,” he said in the statement. Susan is excited about her new role and tweeted this after the announcement was made:


You don’t need us to tell you how important it is to have more female leaders in all sectors, here are Susan’s words encouraging more girls to get into the tech industry, in an open letter she wrote for CNN”s ‘Girl Rising’ project in June 2013:

“Girls of the world, the tech industry is waiting for you. The skills you learn in your math and sciences classes today are the foundation for building technology that will touch nearly every aspect of our lives in the future — your future. If you invest in learning technical skills, soon you won’t just be consuming technology, you’ll be defining it, creating it and sharing it with people all over the world.”

“Innovation thrives on diversity, and we simply can’t afford for the future of technology not to represent women or people with different backgrounds and experiences.”

“That’s why it’s so important for tech leaders to reach out to girls with encouragement. We need to share our enthusiasm and show them all the amazing opportunities available today. Getting girls excited about technology isn’t just a job for educators, it’s a responsibility for all of us.”

“Let’s help girls rise up in the field of technology and support them with the programs they need. If you’re in technology, talk to your daughters, nieces and friends about just how cool it is to work in tech. And we can all help them find internships, encourage them in their studies and foster their creative spirits.”

Enough said!

Susan-Wojcicki

 

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