Susan Wojcicki became the CEO of YouTube in 2014 but held talks about a job as Tesla’s Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Elon Musk’s second-in-command before that.
According to an upcoming book (“Like, Comment, Subscribe: Inside YouTube’s Chaotic Rise to World Domination” by Bloomberg‘s Mark Bergen) about the video service (via CNBC), Wojcicki “quietly held talks” about joining Tesla as COO.
Wojcicki’s garage in Menlo Park served as Google’s office/headquarters for the first year after incorporation in 1998. She joined Google as its first marketing manager a year later and eventually became the senior vice president of advertising and commerce.
Before being named CEO of YouTube, Wojcicki “had been looking for a higher-level role.” It’s not clear how far those talks with Tesla progressed, while she’s described as being loyal to Larry Page and Sergey Brin.
“By then, Page had begun plotting his own exit — a plan to hand Google off to a trusted deputy, Sundar Pichai,” Bergen reports. In a conversation, Laszlo Bock, Google’s HR chief at the time, said he “suggested Page could more easily clear the way for his chosen successor by moving Wojcicki to YouTube.”
Tesla would have gotten a solid day-to-day leader in Wojcicki, similar to how SpaceX has COO Gwynne Shotwell, who is widely regarded for managing the space company.
Meanwhile, the book, which goes on sale September 6, also details how there were discussions within YouTube to become a separate Alphabet company during that 2015 restructuring. However, the product was deemed “too intertwined with Google’s business and machinery to leave.” YouTube remains “a Google company” to this day.
Like, Comment, Subscribe is the first book to reveal the riveting, behind-the-scenes account of YouTube’s technology and business, detailing how it helped Google, its parent company, achieve unimaginable power, a narrative told through the people who run YouTube and the famous stars born on its stage. It’s the story of a revolution in media and an industry run amok, how a devotion to a simple idea – let everyone broadcast online and make money doing so – unleashed an outrage and addiction machine that spun out of the company’s control and forever changed the world.
More on YouTube:
FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.