SILICON VALLEY: When the name of Neal Mohan, 49, was announced as the next CEO of YouTube, there were celebrations thousands of kilometers away in Lucknow. His batchmates from St Francis’ College, where he studied for five years, were euphoric about his achievement, recalling him as a ‘brilliant but shy’ boy.
“It fills us with a feeling of extreme pride and amazement that our classmate, who spoke really less and is hardly on any social media platform, will now be heading one of the biggest social media platforms,” they say.
“Neal is hardly on any social media platform, except LinkedIn. All Franciscans of the 1991 batch are happy and proud that our studious classmate who spoke less is now the head of one of the biggest social media platforms,” said his classmate Shantanu Kumar, a consultant and educationist. “We were in the same section (D) of class VII. He was a bright student but since he came from the US he didn’t know Hindi. However, in no time, he learned it and scored high marks in the subject in class X exam,” he added.
Neal studied in St Francis’ College from Class 7 to 12
Born in Lucknow, he would stay in the city’s River Bank colony. Before joining St Francis’ in 1986, however, Mohan spent his early childhood years in Michigan since his parents, Dr Aditya Mohan and mother Dr Deepa Mohan, had moved to the United States. His father reportedly got an opportunity to pursue a PhD at Purdue University there.
The family came back to India in 1985 and next year, Neal got enrolled at St Francis’ College where he studied for five years from Class 7 to 12. After passing out in 1991, he joined the Bachelor of Science course in electrical engineering at Stanford University in 1992 from where his amazing journey in the US began.
Another classmate of Neal, Mohit Jaggi, an entrepreneur, said, “I remember him as our class topper who was a very private person. During school days he was a very sincere student, and fond of playing cricket.” “Today, he has made us all proud with his achievement,” Jaggi said.
Renowned cardiologist, Dr Rishi Sethi of the King George’s Medical University said, “Neal was an NTSE scholar and a gentleman since his school days who preferred to keep a low profile.”
He was a key person in the company Doubleclick which went to Google in a mega acquisition. Since the acquisition he has been with Google and then with YouTube, where he replaces Susan Wojcicki as the CEO.