By Vikas SN
Neal Mohan, a longtime Indian American YouTube executive, is taking over as the head of the Google-owned video sharing platform.
With this, Mohan will be joining the elite list of global tech chiefs of Indian origin such as Google parent Alphabet's Sundar Pichai, Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, IBM's Arvind Krishna, and Adobe's Shantanu Narayen.
Mohan is taking over from Susan Wojcicki whose departure marks an end of an era at the world's largest video platform. Wojcicki has a long history with Google (now Alphabet), having rented garage space in her parent's house to co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin to start the company in 1998. She joined the search giant as its 16th employee a year later.
Prior to this, Mohan served as YouTube's chief product officer, responsible for the platform's products, user experience, and trust and safety initiatives.
Here are 10 things you need to know about the new chief of YouTube:
1. Education: The 49-year-old Neal Mohan holds a bachelors degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he was an Arjay Miller Scholar, an award given to the top 10 percent of the class who have received the highest grade point averages (GPA).
2. Early roles: Neal Mohan started his career at Accenture (then Andersen Consulting) in 1996 and then joined a startup called NetGravity that was later acquired by Internet advertising firm DoubleClick in 2002.
3. Joined Google via DoubleClick purchase: After his two-year MBA course (2003-2005) and a brief stint at Microsoft, Mohan rejoined DoubleClick and played a key role in the company's $3.1-billion sale to Google in April 2007.
4. Leading Google's ads product: At Google, Mohan led the firm's display and video advertising business, wherein he was responsible for its advertising product offerings on YouTube, the Google Display Network, AdSense, AdMob, and the DoubleClick ad tech products, from 2008 to 2015. He also built solutions for advertisers and media partners that enabled the growth of the consumer internet, mobile app ecosystem and online media industry.
5. Acquisitions: Mohan has led several strategic startup acquisitions including Invite Media, Admeld, and Teracent to bolster Google's advertising offerings.
6. Moving to YouTube: Susan Wojcicki, a key architect of Google's online advertising business, tapped Mohan as her lieutenant after she took over as YouTube CEO in 2014. He has served as YouTube's chief product officer in 2015.
7. Launching new YouTube products: Mohan has played a pivotal role in the launch of some of YouTube's biggest products including its subscription service YouTube Red which was later rebranded as YouTube Premium; music streaming service YouTube Music, kids-oriented app YouTube Kids, live television streaming service YouTube TV and its short-form video service YouTube Shorts. He is also responsible for the service's mobile, desktop and television apps, apart from tools for media partners, content creators, musicians, governments, and consumer brands among others.
8. Leading YouTube's policy function: In addition, Mohan leads YouTube's trust and safety team that oversees the creation and enforcement of platform policies and community guidelines governing the content available on the platform.
9. Rival offers: Over the years, several companies, including file storage company Dropbox, have unsuccessfully tried to hire him to lead their product function. The most prominent one being Twitter's offer in 2011 which Mohan declined after a lucrative stock grant worth $100 million, according to TechCrunch.
10. Board roles: Neal Mohan currently serves on the board of companies such as personal styling service Stitch Fix and genetic testing firm 23andme, co-founded by Anne Wojcicki, the sister of Susan Wojcicki and ex-wife of Sergey Brin. He has previously served as a member of the boards of directors of the Internet Advertising Bureau (2012-2016) and the Mobile Marketing Association (2012-2015) apart from being a member of the management board for the Stanford Graduate School of Business (2013-2017).