YouTube chief executive Susan Wojcicki stepping down after nine years

Susan Wojcicki is stepping down from her role in YouTube

YOUTUBE chief executive Susan Wojcicki is stepping down after nine years as the head of the world's biggest online video platform.

Writing a blog post to staff, she said she had "decided to step back from my role as the head of YouTube and start a new chapter focused on my family, health and personal projects I'm passionate about".

It has been confirmed that YouTube's chief product officer, Neal Mohan, will take over as head of the Google-owned video platform.

"The time is right for me, and I feel able to do this because we have an incredible leadership team in place at YouTube," Ms Wojcicki said.

Ms Wojcicki added that in the "short term" she would continue to work at YouTube to "support Neal and help with the transition".

She also confirmed that she had agreed with Sundar Pichai, chief executive of Google's parent firm, Alphabet, to "take on an advisory role across Google and Alphabet".

"This will allow me to call on my different experiences over the years to offer counsel and guidance across Google and the portfolio of Alphabet companies," she said.

A Google employee for nearly 25 years and one of the first people to join the company, Ms Wojcicki was senior vice president of ad products at Google before taking on the head of YouTube role in 2014 as one of the few female leaders in a still male-dominated industry.

Her departure comes as YouTube faces a number of challenges - from ongoing concerns around the spread of misinformation and hate speech on the platform, to increased competition from short-form video apps, most notably TikTok, which is drawing younger users away from YouTube.