Susan Wojcicki: The most powerful woman on the internet

M.S. '93, applied economics

Susan Wojcicki is CEO of YouTube, the ubiquitous video-sharing website that in 2017 was ranked as the second most popular site in the world—only behind its parent company Google.

Her history with Google goes back to the company's earliest days: co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin developed their search engine while renting Wojcicki's garage. She later joined Google in 1999 as the company's first marketing manager and employee number 16.  

In 2002, Susan began working on Google’s advertising products and over the next 12 years she led teams that helped define the vision and direction of Google’s monetization platforms. During that time she was also instrumental in two of Google’s largest acquisitions—the $1.65 billion purchase of YouTube in 2006 and the $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick in 2007.

In 2015, Wojcicki was named to Time's 100 most influential people and described in a later issue of Time as “the most powerful woman on the internet.”

In 2017, Forbes ranked Wojcicki No. 6 on its list of "The World's 100 Most Powerful Women.”

Even as she racks up the career successes, Wojcicki says her days at UC Santa Cruz seem like yesterday.

“I feel like it’s not that long ago that I was a UC Santa Cruz student on a scholarship,” she said. “I haven’t changed that much since then—but the world has changed. When I graduated in 1993, the internet was still a government research project.”

Today, the internet has more than 3 billion users across the globe, and over 1.5 billion logged-in viewers visit the site that Wojcicki runs—YouTube—every single month.