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The Most Powerful Woman on the Internet

Susan Wojcicki the CEO of YouTube and a mother of five children. Previously, she was the Senior Vice President of Advertising & Commerce at Google. In 2015, Susan was named to Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world and described in a later issue of Time as “the most powerful woman on the internet”.

Susan Wojcicki the CEO of YouTube and a mother of five children. Previously, she was the Senior Vice President of Advertising & Commerce at Google. In 2015, Susan was named to Time’s list of the 100 most influential people in the world and described in a later issue of Time as “the most powerful woman on the internet”.

She is the daughter of Esther Wojcicki, an educator of Russian Jewish descent and Stanley Wojcicki, a Polish American physics professor at Stanford University. Wojcicki is the eldest of three power sisters – middle sister Janet is an anthropologist and epidemiologist (and would wipe “Google HQ” off the garage whiteboard way back when), Anne is the co-founder of genetic testing company 23andMe.

Wojcicki studied history and literature at Harvard University and graduated with honors in 1990, holds a master’s in economics from the UC Santa Cruz, and an MBA from UCLA.. She originally planned on getting a PhD in economics and pursuing a career in academia, but changed her plans when she discovered technology.

Google’s first marketing manager

Before joining Google, Susan worked at Intel, Bain & Company, and several start-ups. Susan Wojcicki was with Google from the very beginning when she rented her garage to two young computer scientists: Sergey Brin and Larry Page. Long before Google found a home in her garage, Wojcicki grew up on the Stanford campus where her father taught physics and where she came to love the creativity that accompanied technology.

Wojcicki grew within Google to become senior vice president of Advertising & Commerce and lead the advertising and analytic products including AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, and Google Analytics. With the launch of the AdSense system and the acquisition of Applied Semantics, both in 2003, Google became a broker of online display advertising. For a fee, the AdSense system placed appropriate advertisements on participating Web sites. When an advertisement was viewed or clicked on and agreed-upon conditions were met, the Web publisher received some of the money that the advertiser had paid to Google. Wojcicki’s responsibilities greatly increased in 2008 with Google’s acquisition of the company DoubleClick. Among other capabilities, the DoubleClick system deployed cookies that tracked preferences of Internet users for the benefit of advertisers. Google kept pace with the rapid proliferation of smartphones when Wojcicki arranged for the purchase of the mobile advertising network AdMob in 2009. She’s also responsible for everyone’s favorite, Google Doodles.

CEO of You Tube

YouTube, then a small start-up was successfully competing with Google’s Google Video service overseen by Wojcicki. Her response was to propose the purchase of YouTube. She handled 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.

The YouTube brand name was retained even after the company became a Google subsidiary. Wojcicki, who was elevated to senior vice president at Google in 2010, moved over to YouTube in 2014 and became the company’s CEO later that year. She thus became head of an operation that claimed to have more than one billion monthly users. On September 28, 2017, Wojcicki created a YouTube Channel and uploaded the channel’s first video, titled “My First Video–Advice From Creators.” Since taking on the role of CEO, YouTube’s percentage of female employees has risen from 24 to nearly 30 percent.

Working Mom

She was one of the first Google employee to get pregnant. She was pregnet when she decided to leave Intel and join Google. Seemingly undaunted by the situation, she took that opportunity to shape the tech giant’s parental leave policy – and later pushed to expand it even further. “When we increased paid maternity leave to 18 from 12 weeks in 2007, the rate at which new moms left Google fell by 50%. (We also increased paternity leave to 12 weeks from seven, as we know that also has a positive effect on families and our business.)” So take control of your approach to pregnancy at work, and plan your return from leave accordingly.

“Mothers come back to the workforce with new insights. I know from experience that being a mother gave me a broader sense of purpose, more compassion and a better ability to prioritize and get things done efficiently. It also helped me understand the specific needs and concerns of mothers, who make most household spending decisions and control more than $2 trillion of purchasing power in the U.S.”

“Many women assume they can’t be good mothers and have challenging careers at the same time, so they might give up trying to do both as they get to a crucial point in their career. Although it can be hard at times, it’s important for women to recognize the benefits of working outside the home”  S.Wojcicki

Advocate for Women’s rights

Wojcicki makes the case for breaking up the Silicon Valley boy’s club: “There is a solution that has been proved to address gender discrimination in all its forms, both implicit and explicit: hiring more women. Employing more women at all levels of a company, from new hires to senior leaders, creates a virtuous cycle. Companies become more attuned to the needs of their female employees, improving workplace culture while lowering attrition. They escape a cycle of men mostly hiring men. And study after study has shown that greater diversity leads to better outcomes, more innovative solutions, less groupthink, better stock performance and G.D.P. growth.” Vanity Afair

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