(THIS ITEM UPDATED WITH CONFIRMATION BELOW)
Susan Wojcicki, who’s been one of Google’s most senior executives in charge of its money-making ad business, is moving over to run the YouTube subsidiary, according to blog reports today.
Wojcicki has long wanted to run her own shop and reportedly had told Google CEO Larry Page that she aspired to be a CEO, according to blog reports from The Information (subscription required) and re/code. Both blogs are well-sourced at Google and say that Wojcicki, 45, was becoming a target for recruitment by other companies.
Meanwhile, Business Insider is reporting that Salar Kamangar, a longtime Google executive who took over at YouTube in 2010, has already been transitioning back to the mother ship, where he’s serving as a senior advisor to Page.
There’s been no official confirmation from Google on the reports. And no word so far on what it means for Shishir Mehrotra, a senior YouTube leader who’s been viewed as a potential replacement for Kamangar in the past.
The move could foreshadow changes in YouTube’s advertising operations, but by most accounts that business is already thriving. The research firm eMarketer estimates YouTube sold $5.6 billion in ads last year, yielding almost $2 billon in revenue after paying back ad partners and video content creators.
Wojcicki, who joined Google as employee No. 16, first met founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin when she rented her garage to their nascent start-up. She rose to become one of the company’s most influential execs, dubbed “the most important Googler you’ve never heard of” in this 2011 Merc profile.
Google confirmed the move late Wednesday morning with this statement from CEO Larry Page:
“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.”
And Wojcicki had this to say on Twitter just now:
Excited to join #YouTube – wonderful team, amazing community & inspiring creators. I look forward to watching a lot more videos during work.
— Susan Wojcicki (@SusanWojcicki) February 5, 2014
(Photo of Susan Wojcicki at Google headquarters by LiPo Ching/Mercury News)