Google was rumored to have been moving longtime employee and SVP of Ads & Commerce Susan Wojcicki over to the YouTube top spot, based on reports yesterday by The Information and Re/code, and now Google has confirmed via a statement sent to TechCrunch and Wojcicki herself has confirmed the news via Twitter.
Wojcicki takes over for departing YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar, who was Google’s ninth employee and replaced YouTube founder Chad Hurley as the top boss at the video site back in 2010. Wojcicki was Google’s 16th official hire, but her garage provided the office space for Google founding team Page and Brin back in 1998, as Ryan Lawler noted earlier.
Google’s own statement, from CEO Larry Page, doesn’t suggest any immediate change in strategy as a result of the executive shift:
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.
Still, the move could signal a desire on the part of Google to put down the pedal on monetizing YouTube and its content via advertising and e-commerce strategies, since Wojcicki’s key roles at Google in the past have been managing its entire ad and sales business, as well as developing AdSense, Google’s program for helping publishers of various kinds of media monetize their products. Kamangar also had a strong advertising background, since he helped build AdWords, but Google CEO Larry Page has been involved in a continuous process of reconfiguring his exec team, likely in a bid to better serve his overarching product plans.
Re/code reports that Kamangar will move into a role overseeing new, early-stage projects at Google, which seems to be what the company likes to do with executives who are being moved out of key leadership roles (c.f., Andy Rubin, Jeff Huber).