Product Director Job Description

(note: this JD is for a medium to large company where there is a VP Product/CPO that is responsible for product vision and product strategy, and the director roles are primarily responsible for managing the individual contributor product managers)

About The Job:

Ben Horowitz argues that the director of product management is the most important non-C level position in a tech company.  We agree.  This is because product companies depend on strong products, and strong products come from strong product teams.  But product teams are only as strong as their product managers.   The director of product management is responsible for ensuring strong product managers.  

As such, the primary responsibility of the director of product management is staffing and coaching strong product managers.  For companies built on empowered product teams, the product manager is accountable for ensuring solutions that are both valuable and viable.

This means that the product manager must contribute to her product team a solid knowledge of the various constraints of the business – constraints from marketing, sales, service, finance, legal, and privacy are typical examples.  The product manager must also contribute to the product team a deep knowledge of our users and customers, and the data about how our customers engage with our products.  Finally, the product manager is expected to track industry trends and the competitive landscape as they pertain to her product.

While product teams are empowered to figure out the best solutions to the problems that need to be solved, we also hold those teams accountable to the results.  Shipping is necessary, but not sufficient.  We develop product managers that are not afraid to sign up for outcomes, even when this means they have to work through others to achieve the necessary results.

Necessary Qualifications:

  • Proven track record over multiple years as an individual contributor product manager responsible for value and viability of solutions.
  • Proven ability to go deep and quickly learn new domains, as well as solid understanding of all major parts of the business.
  • Demonstrated understanding of the techniques and methods of modern product discovery and product delivery.
  • Proven track record of coaching and developing other people.
  • Demonstrate a clear understanding of your role as the primary coach of your product managers, and how that differs from managing products directly.
  • Proven ability to engage with both individual contributors and leaders of all levels in constructive and collaborative relationships.
  • Demonstrate servant-based leadership and knowledge of leading by context rather than control.
  • Responsible for assisting with quarterly planning and assigning objectives (problems to solve) to product teams.

Diverse Perspectives:

We know that innovation thrives on product teams where diverse points of view come together to solve hard problems in ways that are just now possible.  As such, we explicitly seek people that bring diverse life experiences, diverse educational backgrounds, diverse cultures, and diverse work experiences.  Please be prepared to share with us how your perspective will bring something unique and valuable to our product teams.