Indo-American Neil Mohan to take over as CEO of YouTube

Neil Mohan has joined a growing list of Indian-Americans who head affairs of prominent US tech giants including Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen.

Susan Wojcicki’s tenure as chief executive officer (CEO) of streaming major YouTube has come to an end, after 25 years at Google. With his departure, the platform’s Chief Product Officer (CPO) Neil Mohan, an Indian-American, will be at the helm of affairs at the company.

“Today, after nearly 25 years here, I’ve decided to step back from my role as head of YouTube and begin a new chapter focused on my family, health and personal projects I’m passionate about Wojcicki said in blog post.

While Wojcicki, 54, will help transition the new team, she will also serve in an advisory capacity to Google and Alphabet in the ‘long term’.

One of the earliest employees at Google (now Alphabet), he worked on a number of key verticals in the tech major including Adsense, Google Image Search, Marketing. She was also part of the team that executed the acquisition of YouTube, and later, rose to the position of CEO of YouTube in 2014.

Speaking about Mohan’s promotion as senior vice president and head of YouTube, Wojcicki said he has an ‘amazing understanding’ for the platform’s product, business, creators and user communities.

Neil Mohan joined Google after the tech giant acquired DoubleClick in 2007 and later rose through the ranks to become SVP of Display and Video Ads and eventually CPO of YouTube in 2015. Mohan also played a key role in launching some of the biggest products on YouTube, including YouTube Music, YouTube Premium and Shorts.

A Stanford graduate, Mohan has previously worked with Microsoft and sits on the boards of genomics startup 23andMe and fashion brand Stitch Fix.

With this, Neel Mohan joins a growing list of Indian-Americans who are leading US-based tech giants including Alphabet’s Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella and Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen.

Mohan’s rise to the top comes at a time when India continues to dominate the streaming market. According to a report, India was the largest market in terms of users for YouTube worldwide, with 467 million users, followed by the US with 246 million users.

Google claims that YouTube contributed more than INR 10,000 Cr to the Indian economy and directly supported 7.5 lakh jobs in 2021. While the numbers have been staggering, the streaming platform has been hit by regulatory turmoil ranging from a crackdown on illegal content.

Despite the hiccups, YouTube has continued to expand greatly in the country because of its ease of adoption and easy access to local video content in multiple Indian languages. The platform also generates billions of views and dollars in a single year from content and advertising revenue.

Last year Google saw shoppable content for viewers in the country, while the tech major also announced that videos, mainly on healthcare, would now be available in multiple languages on the streaming site. A few months ago, the company also launched a Learning Management System (LMS) embedded in the YouTube app called ‘Courses’ for content creators.

Its new offerings like Shorts, launched in 2020, are also receiving a good response and are clocking 30 billion views per day globally with 1.5 billion logged-in users every month by the end of November 2022.

While it faces stiff competition from Meta-owned Instagram and other local players like Chingari and Josh, Neil Mohan’s tenure will mark the first change at the streaming platform in close to a decade.