AIB Featured Business Leader Susan Wojcicki
Born in California in 1968, Susan Wojcicki is one of Silicon Valley’s greatest business leaders. Educated at Harvard University in history and literature, Wojcicki went on to achieve her Master of Science (Economics), followed by her Master of Business Administration (MBA). Starting her career in marketing at Intel, Wojcicki took a gamble and became local start up Google’s employee #16. In fact, she actually rented her garage to Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin in the beginning as their first working space.Joining Google in 1999 as the search engine’s first marketing manager, Wojcicki went on to lead the initial development of several key consumer products such a Google Images and Google Books. Working her way up within the company, she became senior vice president of advertising and commerce, which saw her lead the advertising and analytic initiatives such as AdWords and Google Analytics. With the development of these products as well as AdSense, Wikipedia estimates that Wojcicki is accountable for 96% of Google’s income today. She also was the driving figure behind the purchase of YouTube in 2006, leaving no surprise that she was offered the role of CEO of the video-sharing platform in 2014.
What is most interesting about the career of Wojcicki is the way in which she does business – her major focus is how technology can impact your business, from marketing to consumer feedback and sales. Discussing the online world she stated “The great thing about the Internet is you can launch a product, and within just a few hours, people will tell you what they think about it”. The online world has completely changed the way we do business, yet there are still many organisations who are not using it to their advantage. Wojcicki also added that “Mobile is an incredibly fast-growing market and will continue to be.”.
What is also admirable about Wojcicki’s work ethic is her persistence, and realistic attitude towards women in leadership roles. Speaking about the gender divide in the workplace, she explains that irrespective of gender, the success of CEOs is based on their performance. She stated “It takes not just skills [to be a CEO] but also extreme dedication and commitment. And regardless of gender, CEOs are measured by the same criteria – the growth and success of the business.” In the same interview, she also explained that like many of us, she has experienced a lot of set backs in which she has learnt from, and have made her the leader that she is today.
What do you think?
It is clear that the career of Susan Wojcicki is one to be admired by both men and women alike. Using her personal drive and the knowledge gained throughout her bachelor and MBA, she has taken the tech world by storm with profound success. What I personally admire is that she has created such success through persistence and integrity. I am interested to hear what you think though – comment below and share your views about the career of YouTube’s leading lady.
This article was written by Laura Hutton on behalf of the Australian Institute of Business. All opinions are that of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinion of AIB. The following sources have been used to prepare this article: