An Indian-origin executive leading top tech firms across the world is slowly becoming a norm now. The latest addition to the elite list that comprises Sundar Pichai, Satya Nadella, Arvind Krishna, etc. is Neal Mohan, the new CEO of YouTube. Susan Wojcicki, one of the decorated women leaders in the tech industry has recently announced to step down as the CEO of YouTube after 9 successful years of running the video platform. The appointment of Neal Mohan has become the talk of the town today.
The Journey of Neal Mohan
The journey of Neal Mohan traces back to Lucknow, India, where he was born in a Hindu family. However, he was brought up in the U.S., Michigan, and Florida to be precise. Later, he came back to India for high school at St. Francis’ College Lucknow. A few years later, Mohan again moved back to the U.S. and became a U.S. citizen by the time he started working with YouTube. Meanwhile, he also completed a degree in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
After completing his graduation, Neal worked for Accenture before joining a startup named Net Gravity. Soon, he became a mainstay of Net Gravity’s operations and significantly contributed to the expansion of the company. In 1996, DoubleClick acquired Net Gravity and Mohan moved from California to New York as a result. Thanks to his astute prowess, Mohan was promoted as the Vice President of Business Operations.
Neal came back to Stanford to pursue an MBA in 2003. While he was pursuing his MBA, DoubleClick started facing a series of issues, beginning from its acquisition by Abacus Direct in 1999. Hellman & Friedman, a leading private equity firm, later acquired DoubleClick, splitting off Abacus Direct. David Rosenblatt (CEO of DoubleClick) after the partition, hired Neal as he completed his MBA. The recruitment, however, was under Neal’s terms that he would stay in California.
The Stint with Google and YouTube
In 2007, Google acquired DoubleClick which meant Neal would work for Google. He played a key role in the transition. Later, Neal spearheaded Google’s acquisition of Invite Media in 2010. He was promoted to the position of Senior Vice President of Display and Video Ads before starting his journey with YouTube.
In 2015, Neal joined YouTube as Chief Product Officer. During his tenure as the CPO, he was instrumental in the development of YouTube Premium, YouTube Music, YouTube Shorts, YouTube TV, and YouTube NFTs. 8 years after working as a CPO, on 16th February 2023, Neal was appointed as the new CEO of YouTube.
Praises from the Former CEO
Susan Wojcicki (Former CEO) of YouTube was all in praise of Neal’s leadership ability. In her blog post, she lauded Neal for being instrumental in the development of products like YouTube Music and YouTube TV. She also stated that Neal will be a terrific leader. She also commended Neal for his concrete understanding of YouTube both as a business and as a popular platform combining communities.
“He has a wonderful sense for our product, our business, our creator and user communities, and our employees,” added Susan.
An Era of Indian-origin Leaders
Neal’s promotion at the helm of YouTube is another testament to the fact that Indian-origin leaders are becoming more and more influential in the field of technology. A robust knowledge base, culture of education, and zeal to succeed, whatever may be the reason, it is true that Indian-origin leaders are surely setting themselves apart as one of the best leaders on the globe.