December 13, 2021 – 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, 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.
Mr. Chen spent the past 11 years at Match Group, serving in several leadership roles within product, innovation and business development, and most recently as senior vice president of the company’s innovation team, +1Labs. Prior to his tenure at Match Group, Mr. Chen co-founded travel technology start-up, Traxo.
As chief product officer, Mr. Chen will lead Glassdoor’s product, design, and community teams, overseeing strategy, innovation, and execution across the company’s full suite of job seeker, employee, and employer products, including workplace insights, salary information, employer branding and more.
More than 55 million unique users visit Glassdoor each month to gain transparency into millions of employers through reviews, ratings, salaries and more, paired with the latest jobs. Glassdoor, along with Indeed, is part of Recruit Holdings’ fast-growing HR Technology business unit, which recently saw record revenue during Q2 of FY2021, underscoring the value of jobs and workplace insights in today’s labor market.
With a primary focus on technology, consumer, industrial and the life science sectors, ON Partners recruits C-level and board talent for public and private companies, as well as venture capital and private equity firms. Founded in 2006, the firm’s consultants work from offices in Atlanta; Boston; Chicago; Cleveland; Dallas; Menlo Park, CA; Minneapolis; and San Francisco and New York. ON Partners was named of the one fastest growing search firms this year by Hunt Scanlon Media. The firm is now ranked as one of the 20 largest search firms in the nation.
Mr. Morrow has 15-plus years in executive search. He has placed over 250 senior level executives in B2B software and B2B2C sectors. Mr. Morrow started professional career in human resources in general management and talent acquisition.
Mr. Hocking identifies board members, chief executive officers and other senior-level talent across functions for technology companies and private equity firms. His clients span the software, hardware, networking, semiconductor, and outsourcing industries. He joined ON Partners in 2017 from Korn Ferry, where he served as regional market leader for the company’s technology practice.
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:
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.”
New York-based Work&Partners recently placed Heather Jordan as chief product officer of Toppan Merrill, a provider of financial printing and communication solutions. Founder and president Alan Work led the assignment. Ms. Jordan was previously with data analytics company Nielsen where she held multiple roles throughout her tenure. Most recently she served as senior vice president, product leader. Her earlier roles at Nielsen were vice president, program manager and senior product manager. Earlier in Ms. Jordan’s career she was director of research and account executive at Spartan Communications.
Benchmark Executive Search placed Ben Conklin as chief product officer at Janes, a U.K.-based global agency for open-source defense intelligence. The position reports to CEO Blake Bartlett. “Ben Conklin brings a distinguished background, proven leadership and deep product and mission expertise to Janes,” said Jeremy King, president of Benchmark. “We look forward to following his progress.” To fill the key role of in the Washington D.C. area, Janes said it turned to a search firm with industry experience, reputation and the track record to help it land a high-impact executive. “Benchmark came so highly recommended by senior executives in the U.S. that when we had a critical and urgent need to hire a proven product leader to accelerate our business, I had no hesitation in engaging Jeremy King and Benchmark for the search,” said Mr. Bartlett. “Benchmark’s professionalism, attention to detail, customer excellence and ability to attract outstanding candidates is world-class.”
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; and Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media