Neil Mohan© GettyImages

HELLO! 100 Most Influential: Neil Mohan

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Gayatri Rangachari Singh

Why he matters: Credited with expanding YouTube with such products as Shorts and Premium, this CEO speaks the language of growth. He’s so much in demand that both Facebook and Twitter tried to lure him away!

If you’re wondering, “Neil, who?” you’re not alone. The low-profile executive may not have instant recall as many other Indian-origin corporate stars, but if you’re consuming a lot more YouTube recently, he’s the man to thank.

Neil Mohan, who took over as YouTube CEO in February 2023, has helped build the video platform into the second-most visited site after Google, its parent company. So much so that former YouTube CEO and Silicon Valley legend Susan Wojcicki hailed Mohan as a “terrific leader.”

A trusted lieutenant of Wojcicki, Mohan was earlier the Chief Product Officer, who helped develop YouTube TV, YouTube Music, YouTube Premium and YouTube Shorts. Born in Lafayette, Indiana, he studied at St. Francis College in Lucknow. A shy boy, this success story was a class topper who loved cricket.

He went on to study at Stanford, obtaining a degree in electrical engineering and later, an MBA. Mohan’s early career led him to Double Click, an internet advertising company that Google acquired in 2008. He’s now considered such a visionary that when Twitter tried to hire him in 2011, Google is believed to have paid him US$100 million to stay on!

Mohan is known for his curiosity, problem-solving attitude and ability to anticipate the future of technology. He can speak to engineers about advertising and to advertising professionals about tech. That’s a rare skill in geekland. Today, all eyes are on Mohan to see where he leads YouTube next…

To see who else is on the list, grab the copy of HELLO! India’s August 2023 issue right here!