Anne Wojcicki

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Person.png Anne Wojcicki   TwitterRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
Anne Wojcicki.jpg
BornJuly 28, 1973
Alma materYale University
Parents • Esther Wojcicki
• Stanley Wojcicki
SpouseSergey Brin
Interests • digital healthcare
• personalized medicine
• Big Pharma
Relatives • Susan Wojcicki
• Janet Wojcicki
Businesswoman with big stake in "the Google of gene-based medicine". Also ex-wife of Google-founder Sergey Brin, and sister of Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Anne E. Wojcicki is an American businesswoman who was married to Google co-founder Sergey Brin (divorced 2015) and is sister of Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki.

Anne co-founded and serves as CEO of the personal genomics company 23andMe, selling home tests. The FDA from selling it as a medical device in 2013, but the company reorganized and received a partial approval in 2015.

The 23andMe home testing wasn't in any case primarily intended to be a medical device. The real business idea is to create a mechanism meant to be a front end for a massive information-gathering operation. “The long game here is not to make money selling kits, although the kits are essential to get the base level data,” Patrick Chung, a 23andMe board member admitted in 2013. “Once you have the data, [the company] does actually become the Google of personalized health care”.[1]

"The database creates a one-way portal into a world where corporations have access to the innermost contents of your cells and where insurers and pharmaceutical firms and marketers might know more about your body than you know yourself."[1]

GlaxoSmithKline invested $300 million in the company in 2018.

Early life

Wojcicki was born in Palo Alto, California, and has two older sisters, Susan Wojcicki, CEO of YouTube,[2] and Janet Wojcicki, a PhD anthropologist and epidemiologist.[3] Her parents are Esther Wojcicki (née Hochman), an educator who is Jewish, and Stanley Wojcicki, a Polish-born physics professor emeritus at Stanford University. The three sisters consequently grew up on the university's campus.[2]


Wojcicki attended Gunn High School, in Palo Alto, California.[3][4]. She received a B.S. in biology at Yale University in 1996. During her time there she played on the varsity women's ice hockey team.[5][6][7] She has also conducted molecular biology research at the National Institutes of Health and at UC, San Diego.[4]


After her graduation, Wojcicki worked as a health care consultant at Passport Capital, a San Francisco-based investment fund[4] and at Investor AB.[8] She was a health care investment analyst[5] for 4 years, overseeing health care investments, focusing on biotechnology companies. Allegedly disillusioned by the culture of Wall Street and its attitude towards health care,[9] she quit in 2000, intending to take the MCAT and enroll in medical school. Instead, she decided to focus on research.[8]

Wojcicki is best known as the co-founder and CEO of 23andMe, a privately owned, direct to consumer DNA testing company, which allows for consumers to test for ancestry and health risks.[5][10] Anne founded the company in 2006 with Linda Avey and Paul Cusenza,[11] with the stated goal of solving the pain point that a majority of people do not have access to their genetic information, which could provide information on cures for diseases or treatments, especially with the help of Glaxo and their $300 million investment.[10] Anne has expressed interest in “revolutioniz[ing] health care” with DNA testing,[10] as it could provide consumers with sufficient enough information as to predict potential genetic illnesses.

The company is named for the 23 pairs of chromosomes in a normal human cell. The company's personal genome test kit was named "Invention of the Year" by Time magazine in 2008.[12]

In 2013 the Food and Drug Administration temporarily banned 23andMe from selling its health-related tests at all. Following the FDA’s ban in 2013, 23andMe spent the next two years devising genetic health tests that wouldn’t overpromise.[13]

From 2015, the FDA started to give approval to 23andMe's health-related tests, including risk from cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, certain cancers, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, and coeliac disease.[14][15] In 2018, 23andMe entered into a four-year collaboration with GlaxoSmithKline to develop new medicines.[16][10]

Wojcicki is a member of the Xconomists, an ad hoc team of editorial advisors for the tech news and media company, Xconomy.[17] In October 2013, Fast Company named Wojcicki "The Most Daring CEO".[8][18] She is a co-founder and board member of the Breakthrough Prize.[19]

As of 2020, she is listed as number 93 in Forbes list of the World's 100 Most Powerful Women.[20]

Personal life

Wojcicki married Google co-founder Sergey Brin in May 2007.[5] They have a son, Benji Wojin, born in December 2008, and a daughter, Chloe Wojin, born in late 2011.[21][22] The couple stopped living together in 2013,[23] and they divorced in 2015.[24]

Brin and Wojcicki, although divorced, still jointly run The Brin Wojcicki Foundation.[25] They have donated extensively to The Michael J. Fox Foundation and in 2009 gave $1 million to support the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society.[26]

Wojcicki and Alex Rodriguez, the former baseball star, broke up in 2016 after dating for nearly a year.[27]

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.[28] Her grandmother, Janina Wójcicka Hoskins, was a Polish-American librarian at the Library of Congress who was responsible for building the largest collection of Polish material in the United States.[29]

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  29. Zalewski, Wojciech (2011-10-01). "Janina Wójcicka Hoskins (1912–1996): Portrait of an Esteemed Librarian". Slavic & East European Information Resources. 12 (4): 224–236. doi:10.1080/15228886.2011.623117. ISSN 1522-8886

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