The Vice President (VP) of Product assumes a supporting role to the Chief Technology Officer (CTO), but they are both team leaders. The VP of Product may be responsible for leading a team toward achieving strategic initiatives, mainly creating a product road map. He or she prepares the technical vision for the product of a given company.
VPs of Product serve as a point persons for developers and engineers within organizations. They are highly visible in that they create transformative digital products that have a significant impact on outcomes. Their position is critical to intersecting product strategy and technology.
- What Does a VP of Product Do?
- What Skills and Qualifications Should a VP of Product Have?
- Does Every Company Need a VP of Product?
- Who Can Future VPs of Product Turn to for Inspiration?
- How Much Does a VP of Product Earn on Average?
- How Does a VP of Product Differ from a Product Manager?
- How Does a VP of Product Differ from a Product Director?
- Key Takeaways
Read More about a “VP of Product”
The role of a Vice President of Product is crucial to ensure the success of an organization, as he or she is assumed to have in-depth knowledge of the technologies behind a product and foster collaboration to improve product awareness.
If you want to know more about the roles and duties of a VP of Product, read on.
What Does a VP of Product Do?
The tasks expected of a VP of Product include:
- Acting as the CTO’s advisor when dealing with highly sensitive information
- Attending meetings and relaying valuable information to the team
- Determining product and operational issues and resolving them whenever possible
- Leading the team toward a productive transformation from planning to execution
- Updating executives on the latest product developments
- Integrating effective management methods to monitor issues and apply corrective actions
- Collaborating with business partners
What Skills and Qualifications Should a VP of Product Have?
Most employers would prefer applicants with a bachelor’s degree in any related field. In some cases, those with a master’s degree have a higher chance of landing the position. Hiring managers also prefer recruiting someone with at least 10 years of experience in handling high-growth product management projects and teams.
The VIce President of Product should have a commendable business acumen to identify and resolve bottlenecks. He or she must be able to determine and manage key performance indicators (KPIs).
Those with experience with agile software and familiarity with Development and Operations (DevOps) are ideal for the VP of Product role.
The Vice President of Product must also have analytical and problem-solving skills to ensure that the project he or she handles runs without a hitch. Since he or she will work with executives, strong communication skills are also a must.
Does Every Company Need a VP of Product?
Any organization with a heavy focus on products and core value propositions gains a lot from hiring a VP of Product. The VP of Product can help it produce a holistic product strategy and make sure that it is executed throughout the development cycle.
While a VP of Product is valuable, hiring your first will require money. That said, it may be a good idea to wait for your team to grow. When you’re ready to become a hyper-growth organization, that’s when you’ll need a VP of Product.
Who Can Future VPs of Product Turn to for Inspiration?
When you’re starting, it always helps to emulate the best. Here are some of the top VPs of Product you can emulate:
- Julie Zhou: Her journey from being a product designer to VP of Product is a perfect example of a robust product management path. You can follow her journey by reading her book, “The Making of a Manager.”
- Josh Fetcher: As a product consultant, he often shares content that contains useful growth hacking strategies across different platforms. Fetcher is a product innovator and can inspire any VP of Product to develop never-before-seen strategies.
- April Underwood: Before becoming the Chief Product Officer of Slack, she served as the company’s VP of Product. Back then, she built up her authority and credibility in the product development community.
How Much Does a VP of Product Earn on Average?
A Vice President of Product can earn an average of US$205,303 annually. The salary of a U.S.-based VP of Product starts from US$50,000 a year. With more experience and a more significant portfolio, he or she can expect to receive as much as US$600,000 each year, the bulk of which would come from bonuses, incentives, and profit-sharing.
How Does a VP of Product Differ from a Product Manager?
The VP of Product should know where a product is headed and why that matters. He or she guides all the decisions the team makes. In short, he is responsible for the “why.”
The product manager, meanwhile, brings the product strategy to life by working with cross-functional teams to define a product’s features and set the corresponding production timelines.
How Does a VP of Product Differ from a Product Director?
The VP of Product is similar to the Product Director. Larger companies with more products and management layers, however, call the most senior product person the VP of Product who may manage the Product Director, Product Managers, and everyone who reports to them.
The Vice President of Product position is pivotal for the success of an organization, but a significant part of this would lie in how he or she can manage a team.
- A VP of Product supports the CTO. He or she is responsible for leading a team toward achieving strategic initiatives, mainly creating a product road map. He or she also prepares the technical vision for the product of a given company.
- A VP of Product acts as the CTO’s advisor when dealing with highly sensitive information, attends meetings and relays valuable information to the team, and determines product and operational issues and resolves them whenever possible, among others.
- Any organization that focuses heavily on products and core value propositions needs a VP of Product. He or she can help it produce a holistic product strategy and ensure it is executed throughout the development cycle.