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UCLA Anderson’s Dean’s Speaker Series Hosts YouTube CEO

One of technology’s most influential leaders was the guest of honor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Dean’s Distinguished Speaker Series on February 11, 2016.

Dean Judy Olian hosted Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube, who is a 1998 graduate of the Anderson School.

Wojcicki was an early champion of online video, and she foresaw the power in the medium long before it became the pervasive outlet that it is today. She played an integral part in the acquisition of YouTube by Google in 2006 and she was the company’s sixteenth employee. Her relationship with Google started as many successful endeavors do—by accident.

After her graduation from Anderson, Wojcicki decided to rent out her garage in the Bay Area. She recalls:

“I was thinking, okay, so I have student loans, houses are expensive, so I should be a good entrepreneur and rent out part of my house…Initially, I rented out my garage to (then Stanford Ph.D. students) Sergey Brin and Larry Page purely for the additional income. Little did I know that renting to these two entrepreneurs would turn out to be quite savvy.”

Brin and Page would go on to launch Google from Wojcicki’s garage, and a fruitful relationship was born.

While still at Google, Wojcicki watched as the search engine’s video platform was quickly outpaced by YouTube. “I knew it was going to be really big—but that it would come with a bunch of liabilities.” she said. Her foresight led to the acquisition of YouTube, that is now valued at $70 billion for Google.

Wojcicki offered wise advice on succeeding in the tech industry: “’Just in time’ doesn’t work with technology. Have insights about the future, and carefully watch for the clues that the world is changing.”

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About the Author


Maggie Boccella

Maggie Boccella, a lifelong resident of Philadelphia, is a freelance writer, artist and photographer. She has consulted on various film and multimedia projects, and she also serves as a juror for the city's annual LGBTQIA Film Festival.

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