Susan Wojcicki ('98)
Susan Wojcicki (MBA ’98), chief executive officer of YouTube and former head of advertising and commerce at Google, delivered the commencement address to the class of 2014’s MBA, Fully Employed MBA and Ph.D. graduates on June 13, 2014.
Wojcicki is considered one of the world’s most prominent technology executives and an early champion of online video. She currently oversees YouTube's content and business operations, engineering and product development.
Since obtaining her MBA from UCLA Anderson, Wojcicki has been named one of Fortune's “50 Most Powerful Women in Business,” one of Forbes' “100 Most Powerful Women” and one of Vanity Fair's “50 leading innovators [who] shake the foundations of their industries.”
“Susan’s blend of leadership, first at Google and now at YouTube, is deeply analytical, inspirational and has affected the way each of us learns, works, communicates and collaborates,” says Judy Olian, dean of UCLA Anderson School of Management. “As a member of UCLA Anderson’s board of visitors and one of our 100 Inspirational Alumni, she is an astute, strategic advisor who prompts us to continue building innovative programming that prepares our students for careers of the 21st century.”
Prior to being named YouTube’s CEO in February 2014, Wojcicki served as Google’s senior vice president of advertising and commerce, responsible for the design and engineering of AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick and Google Analytics. She joined Google in 1999 as the company's first marketing manager and led the initial development of several key consumer products, including Google Images and Google Books. During the ensuing 12 years, she worked on Google’s advertising products, leading teams that helped define the vision and direction of Google’s monetization platforms, and was instrumental in Google's 2006 acquisition of YouTube. Before joining Google, Wojcicki worked at Intel, Bain & Company and a number of startups.
“My time at Anderson had a profound impact on my career, teaching me the importance of collaboration and innovative thinking,” says Wojcicki. “I'm thrilled to come back to Westwood to address the next generation of leaders, ready to solve the challenges of tomorrow.” Wojcicki was the 16th person to join Google, shortly after Sergey Brin and Larry Page founded the company in her garage. As a leader at Google and now YouTube, she has been a great influence for some 40 UCLA Anderson graduates who have joined the company since 2006 and 40 more who have served as summer interns. At present, six MBA students are in line to join Google this summer.
“The class of 2014 could not be more thrilled to have Susan speak at our commencement,” says Scott Cooper, class of 2014 president of the Anderson Student Association. “She epitomizes what it truly means to be an Anderson student: hard working, risk-taking and, most importantly, an outstanding leader. We all aspire to be just as successful and admired.”
“We are extremely lucky to have Susan back on campus. She’s a powerful leader in a powerful, forward-thinking organization,” says Doug Longo, president of the UCLA Anderson FEMBA Council. “I cannot think of a better way to cap off the Anderson experience than to be inspired by one of our very own.”
In addition to her UCLA Anderson MBA, Wojcicki graduated with honors from Harvard University and holds a master's degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Wojcicki joins a long line of highly influential professionals who have recently addressed UCLA Anderson graduates. These include Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, Westfield Group Co-Chief Executive Officer Peter Lowy, and Guy Kawasaki ('79), celebrated Apple evangelist, author, technology guru and entrepreneur.