She is the daughter of Esther Wojcicki, an educator of Russian Jewish descent, and Stanley Wojcicki, a Polish American physics professor at Stanford University. She has 2 sisters: Janet Wojcicki, (PhD, anthropologist and epidemiologist) and Anne Wojcicki, founder of 23andMe. She grew up on the Stanford campus, with George Dantzig as a neighbor. She attended Gunn High School in Palo Alto, California, and wrote for the school newspaper.
Wojcicki studied history and literature at Harvard University and graduated with honors in 1990. She originally planned on getting a PhD in economics and pursuing a career in academia, but changed her plans when she discovered technology.
She also received her Master's of Science in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 1993 and a Master's in Business Administration from the UCLA Anderson School of Management in 1998.
In September 1998, the same month that Google was incorporated, its founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin set up office in Wojcicki's garage in Menlo Park. Before becoming Google's first marketing manager in 1999, Wojcicki worked in marketing at Intel in Santa Clara, California and was a management consultant at Bain & Company and R.B. Webber & Company. At Google, she worked on the initial viral marketing programs as well as the first Google doodles. Wojcicki also took part in the development of successful contributions to Google such as Google Images and Google Books.
Wojcicki grew within Google to become senior vice president of Advertising & Commerce and lead the advertising and analytic products including AdWords, AdSense, DoubleClick, and Google Analytics.
YouTube, then a small start-up was successfully competing with Google's Google Video service overseen by Wojcicki. Her response was to propose the purchase of YouTube.
She handled two of Google’s largest acquisitions: the $1.65 billion purchase of YouTube in 2006 and the $3.1 billion purchase of DoubleClick in 2007. In February 2014 she became the CEO of YouTube.
Wojcicki, called "the most important person in advertising" was named to Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2015 and described in a later issue of Time as “the most powerful woman on the internet”.
Wojcicki was named #1 on the Adweek 50 list in 2013. She was named #27 on Vanity Fair's New Establishment list in 2015.
Wojcicki married Dennis Troper on August 23, 1998 in Belmont, California. They have five children. On December 16, 2014, ahead of taking her fifth maternity leave, Wojcicki wrote an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal about the importance of paid maternity leave. She is often quoted talking about the importance of finding balance between family and career. In addition to her US citizenship she is a Polish citizen as well. Her grandfather, Franciszek Wójcicki, was a People's Party and Polish People's Party politician who had been elected MP during the Polish legislative election, 1947.
In the time that Wojcicki has been CEO of YouTube, YouTube's has tightened its policy on videos it regards as potentially violating its policies on hate speech and violent extremism. The more stringent policies came after Times of London showed that "ads sponsored by the British government and several private sector companies had appeared ahead of YouTube videos supporting terrorist groups" and several large advertisers withdrew their ads from YouTube in response. The enforcement policies have been criticized as censorship.