March 1, 2022 – Today’s chief product officer is responsible for all product-related matters, and the role is growing in demand, according to executive recruiters who place them. The post typically includes product conception and development, production, innovation, and project and product management. In many IT/ telecommunications companies, the position includes release management and production. Chief product officers generally work on product strategy based on goals set by the CEO and/ or board members. The high demand for chief product officers is keeping executive search firms busy.
Just recently, Daversa Partners, which helps build leadership teams for growth and venture-backed companies, assisted in the recruitment of Deepinder Gulati as the first chief product officer for Beam Dental, a digitally-enabled employee benefits provider. Associate director Brynn Daniels led the assignment. “Deepinder’s financial services, fintech and digital health experience along with his ability to combine customer feedback, user analytics and modern user experience design is critical for Beam as we look to scale,” said Alex Frommeyer, CEO and co-founder of Beam. “Group benefits are transforming rapidly, and Deepinder’s expertise will be crucial as we redefine group benefits and the customer experience.”
Mr. Gulati was previously chief growth officer at Zocdoc, a digital healthcare marketplace, where he was responsible for executing the company’s data strategy and driving customer acquisition. He was also senior vice president of product and data science at Bankrate.com, a consumer financial services company, where he led a ground-up rebuild of consumer and provider experiences. Mr. Gulati’s efforts led to the sale of Bankrate in 2017 for $1.4 billion.
“Digital benefits have never mattered more. Consumers want to access, elect and manage benefits from their computer or cell phone,” said Mr. Gulati. “I’m excited to join Beam and help create a superior customer experience while helping them meet their lofty growth aspirations.”
Since Beam’s inception in 2012, the company has grown to more than 300 employees, expanded to serve employers in 43 states, increased its access to dental networks to 400,000 providers nationwide, and raised over $170 million in venture capital. Beam continues to upend incumbent benefits providers by incentivizing healthy behaviors, automating the proposal process, and forging new partnerships within the employee benefits ecosystem and insurance value chain.
Building Executive Teams Focused on Growth
Daversa Partners, founded in 1993, builds executive teams for growth stage and venture backed companies. Its global footprint spans two continents and eight offices, giving its teams visibility into the entirety of the market. Daversa is dedicated to developing meaningful relationships with entrepreneurs, executives and investors across consumer and enterprise businesses. In addition to its primary location in Westport, Conn., the firm has offices in New York; San Francisco; Washington, D.C.; Orlando, FL; London; and Waterford, Conn. where the firm maintains a data and people analytics facility.
A key member of the firm’s healthtech practice, Ms. Daniels work spans the entire VP and C-suite touching payer, provider, diagnostics, and well-tech businesses. She has been recognized for her work with top tier venture firms including Khosla, General Catalyst, Bessemer, Drive Capital, Kleiner, Oak, and more. Recently, she has done work for Color Genomics, Qventus, Caption Health, Genalyte and Vesta Healthcare.
Finding Chief Products Officers
A number of executive search firms have stepped up to find top chief product officer for top organizations. Here is a sampling from the Hunt Scanlon archives:
ON Partners assisted in the recruitment of former Match Group executive Andy Chen as chief product officer of Glassdoor, a provider of insights about jobs and companies. ON Partners consultants John Morrow and Jeff Hocking led the assignment. “With the future of work evolving, we have the right team in place to help us further innovate and deliver on Glassdoor’s vision of bringing deeper transparency to workplaces everywhere,” said Christian Sutherland-Wong, CEO of Glassdoor.
Riviera Partners, a recruitment provider specializing in C-level engineering, product and design leader placements, assisted in the placement of Stephanie Cuthbertson as executive vice president and chief product officer at HubSpot in Cambridge, MA. Andrew Abramson led the assignment. “Stephanie’s deep experience in product strategy from Google, Amazon and Microsoft makes her well-poised to have a big impact at HubSpot,” said Yamini Rangan, CEO of HubSpot. “She has a strong reputation for leading with humility and empathy, coaching exceptional talent and operating with a customer-centric mindset.”
Accelent recently placed Rahul Lahiri as the new chief product officer for PebblePost, a leading digital to direct mail platform. Mr. Lahiri will head the product division as the company looks to build on the momentum and growth it has experienced in the last year. Leading the assignment were John Boehmer, managing director, Maura McShane, partner, and Jerzy Jung, associate. “This has been a blockbuster year for PebblePost and the brand we work with,” said PebblePost CEO Jacob Ross. “Rahul will play a critical role in evolving the Programmatic Direct Mail platform and the PebblePost Graph to further our mission of enabling brands to reach consumers at home with the most relevant and respectful physical mail.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media