To Top

All You Need to Know About the Extraordinary YouTube Exec Susan Wojcicki, The Former Landlord of Google Founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin

Google has become more than just a proper noun, it is now also used as a verb in casual conversations. This is arguably one of the ways you can tell that a brand has successfully instilled itself in the minds of its users. But before the search engine became what it is now, it was just a start-up in the late ‘90s with the founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page only renting out a garage-turned-office from Susan Wojcicki.

Yup, the name may ring a bell and that’s because Susan wasn’t just a landlord to two of the most successful developers, she is also the chief executive officer of YouTube. As you see, it wasn’t just a typical set-up from the beginning.

Most landlords would only want the tenants to keep the place clean and orderly, to pay, and to abide by the rules. But for her, she was offered to become an employee. So, who is she and how did she end up with the video-sharing platform?

Growing Up

The 51-year-old is from Silicon Valley. Her father was a physics department chair at Stanford University in Palo Alto, which means she was always on the campus. Susan’s mom, Esther, was also a notable mentor after having taught journalism for over 20 years at the Palo Alto High School. Some of her students that made it big are The Disaster Artist star James Franco and Lisa Brennan-Jobs, Steve Jobs’ child.

Susan’s mother was a journalism teacher whose notable students include James Franco

Susan entered the prestigious Harvard University to study history and literature, which is surprising if you consider the field she is in right now. That mindset was changed by one computer science subject that she enrolled in her senior year.

She went on to earn her master’s in economics from the University of California in Santa Cruz and a master’s in business administration from the University of California Los Angeles’ Anderson School of Management.

Renting the Garage Out

In 1998, after receiving her MBA, Susan, who tied the knot with Dennis Troper, worked in the marketing department of Intel. The couple bought a house, a 2,000-sq-ft property at Santa Margarita Avenue, for $600,000.

The amount clearly wasn’t a joke so, in order to get another source of money to pay for the mortgage, she thought to rent out the garage to Larry and Sergey, who were then just doctoral students from Stanford working on a search engine.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin were doctoral students when they rented the garage of Susan and her husband

The geniuses paid $1,700 per month for the garage. One day, an incident at her work made Susan figured she couldn’t do much without Google. She realized how dependent she had become to what her tenants had been creating and decided she wanted her hands on it, too. By 1999, she officially became the 16th staffer and was dubbed as the company’s first marketing manager.

Work on Google and YouTube

Susan was responsible for fixing the Google logo and making sure it looks alive. Plus, she was in charge of the doodles that appear on the homepage.

She convinced the company to buy YouTube after seeing its potential

The amazing woman was also the brains behind AdSense, where ad offerings would appear on websites. This was the reason Google went home with ad revenue of over $1 billion last year. Susan was also leading Google Videos, but at the time, YouTube was already more popular. She convinced the search-engine company to buy the platform for $1.65 billion in 2006. Eight years later, she became the CEO of YouTube.

More in Rich & Famous

You must be logged in to post a comment Login