Former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s Family Tragedy


It’s every parent’s worst nightmare. Earlier this week, the 19-year-old son of former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, was found dead at UC Berkeley of an apparent drug overdose, according to his grandmother, Esther Wojcicki. The news broke widely yesterday, though Wojcicki posted the news to Facebook several days ago, writing: “Tragedy hit my family yesterday. My beloved grandson Marco Troper, age 19 passed away yesterday. Our family is devastated beyond comprehension. Marco was the most kind, loving, smart, fun and beautiful human being. He was just getting started on his second semester of his freshman year at UC Berkeley majoring in math and was truly loving it. He had a strong community of friends from his dorm at Stern Hall and his fraternity Zeta Psi and was thriving academically. At home, he would tell us endless stories of his life and friends at Berkeley.”

Key Takeaway

The former YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki’s family is facing a tragic loss as her 19-year-old son passed away at UC Berkeley due to an apparent drug overdose. The family is devastated, and an investigation into the death is underway.

Investigation Underway

UC Berkeley spokesperson Janet Gilmore has said there were no signs of foul play and that an investigation into the death is underway. Esther Wojcicki told the Palo Alto Daily of her grandson’s passing, “Kids in college, especially freshmen and sophomores, experiment with everything. I think this was an experiment that went wrong.” She separately told the San Francisco Chronicle: “He ingested a drug, and we don’t know what was in it. One thing we do know, it was a drug.”

Wojcicki’s Stepping Down

Wojcicki stepped down as CEO of the Alphabet-owned subsidiary one year ago, writing in a blog post that after nine years in the role, she’d “decided to start a new chapter focused on my family, health and personal projects I’m passionate about.” Neal Mohan, then YouTube’s chief product officer, has run the organization since.

Family’s Response

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Esther Wojcicki told the SF Chronicle that the family is speaking with the press in part to “prevent this from happening to any other family.” “Tragedy is very hard to sustain,” told the Chronicle. “It makes you want to hide in a closet and never come out. But I think the main thing is that we need to push forward to see what we can do to help other people so there won’t be any other kids who end up like Marco.”

Widespread Conversations

Presumably, his death is already sparking widespread conversations. After hearing of it late yesterday, I reminded my own children of the dangers of drugs, how painfully precious life is, and that no one is immune to calamity.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *