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Indian American Digital Advertising Expert Neal Mohan Named CEO of YouTube

Indian American Digital Advertising Expert Neal Mohan Named CEO of YouTube

  • The announcement came moments after Susan Wojcicki stepped down from her role after nine years.

Indian American Neal Mohan will replace Susan Wojcicki as the new CEO of YouTube. Wojcicki stepped down from her role on Feb. 16, after nine years as head of the social media platform. In a blog post, Wojcicki said she is stepping down from her role at the tech giant that started in her garage nearly 25 years ago, to spend time “focused on my family, health, and personal projects I’m passionate about.” She also plans to take on an advisory role at Alphabet.

YouTube is owned by Alphabet, the parent company of Google which is headed by Sunder Pichai, bringing the two arms of the global giant under the leadership of Indian Americans.

Reuters notes that “the change of guard comes as YouTube’s advertising revenue fell for the second straight quarter amid intense competition for viewing time with short-form video services such as TikTok and Facebook’s Reels and streaming services like Netflix. Mohan, a Stanford graduate, was appointed chief product officer at YouTube in 2015.”

Mohan is recognized for his expertise in digital advertising and has also been credited with playing a key role in the development of several of Google’s advertising products, including AdWords, AdSense, and DoubleClick. Currently a Chief Product Officer at YouTube and Senior Vice President at Google, he joined the company in 2008.

He focused on building YouTube Shorts, Music and subscription offerings in the role. Previously, Neal was Senior Vice President of Display and Video Ads at Google. In this role, he was responsible for the company’s advertising offerings on YouTube, the Google Display Network, AdSense, AdMob, and the DoubleClick family of programmatic ad platform products. He focused on growing the overall digital media industry by building innovative solutions for millions of Google’s advertising and media partners around the world.

“The best analogy that comes to mind for me is really just thinking about YouTube as a stage,” he told the magazine Fast Company last year. Viewers need “the best views possible of the creators that they’re most excited about.”

According to Fast Company, a monthly business magazine published in print and online that focuses on technology, business, and design, Mohan both testified before Congress and attended a White House summit last September, “where he unveiled a new content moderation policy at YouTube, targeting violent extremist content on the site.”

Before joining Google, Mohan was Senior Vice President of Strategy and Product Development at DoubleClick where he built the company’s strategic plan, led the product management team, and rapidly grew the business. He played a critical role in the sale of DoubleClick to Google and subsequently led the integration. He also held technology and business leadership positions at NetGravity, and served in strategy and consulting roles at Microsoft and Accenture.

He was sought after by Twitter, 12 years ago, according to a Business Insider report. “Then-CEO Dick Costello was having trouble retaining executives, and users weren’t especially excited about the social media site,” the report said. Board member David Rosenblatt had worked with Mohan at DoubleClick and “convinced them to bring him on as chief product officer,” the repot added. While Mohan “initially seemed primed to accept the job, he eventually didn’t. TechCrunch later reported that Google paid Mohan more than $100 million in stock.

He serves on the Boards of Directors for 23andMe and the New America Foundation’s California Advisory Council. He has also served as a member of the Management Board for the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Neal has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Internet Advertising Bureau and the Mobile Marketing Association. He is a regular speaker at media and technology industry events and has been named one of Ad Age’s 10 Most Influential Players in Marketing and AdWeek’s 12 Stars of Ad Tech.

He earned an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University.

Hema Sareen Mohan

Mohan is married to Hema Sareen Mohan, a native New Yorker, who has worked for more than 20 years in the nonprofit and public sectors. A native New Yorker, she has worked in the California State Senate and County of Santa Clara for a decade. “While in the State Senate, she worked on the landmark state legislation to change the kindergarten entry age and create a new grade known as transitional kindergarten in California public schools.” She spent seven years at the Vera Institute of Justice, a New York-based nonprofit policy and research organization, where she directed a training program for school-based police officers to use positive behavior support techniques with students, and worked on an alternative-to-detention program for immigrants in deportation proceedings. She and Mohan live in the Bay Area with their three children.

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