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Global Design Director - Salary Insights

We were recently engaged by a client to conduct a search for a Global Design Director.

Our client is a publicly traded, global, B2B software company whose solutions are used by some of the world's largest companies.

We conducted a targeted search across North America and Western Europe, focusing on senior software design leaders who had built and led distributed design teams larger than 50 people.

Our client interviewed 5 candidates:

The Industrious Intellect - USD $275K Base + 30% Bonus + 125k LTIP

  • 25+ years of professional employment experience, including VP and CDO level responsibility
  • Experience leading a team of 10 direct reports who lead a globally distributed team of 125 people
  • Global scope and scale; adept at international business across multiple cultures
  • Industrial Design Degree + Masters Degree

The Patented Professional - USD $250K Base + 20% Bonus + RSU

  • 20+ years of professional employment experience
  • Experience leading a team of 40+ globally distributed employees
  • A market facing leader solving complex problems which impact global healthcare 
  • Arts Degree & multiple patents published

The Decorated Designer - USD $250K Base + 25% Bonus + RSU

  • 17 years of professional employment experience
  • Experience leading a team of 80+ globally distributed Designers and UX Researchers
  • A champion of innovation and the power of leveraging AI/ML to solve problems that impact all humans around the world
  • Fine Arts Degree & multi-time design award winner

The Versatile Veteran - USD $240K Base + 20% Bonus + RSUs

  • 25+ years of professional employment experience
  • Experience leading a team of 30+ globally distributed employees
  • Global scope and experience as well as startup experience (building a design organization and developing its best practices from the ground up)
  • Industrial Design Degree & multi-time design award winner 

The Hire 

  • 25+ years of professional employment experience
  • Experience leading distributed teams as large as 120 people
  • Scope and scale of product portfolios generating $2B+ in revenue
  • International business experience and multilingual
  • A thought leader in the topics of design and healthcare
  • Industrial Design Degree & multi-time award winner for "best of" design awards

To attract and land this candidate, our client offered a USD $260K Base + 35% Bonus + 20k Signing Bonus

As you can see, compensation for these candidates varies significantly based on the length and scope of experience, as well as their ability to thrive in similar environments.

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For organizations and job seekers alike, it can be challenging to understand what a particular position should pay. Often, it’s a calculation between salary surveys that lack context, what a person has earned in the past, and ad hoc conversations with others in the field.

These posts are meant to highlight the contextual elements that make up compensation and help our clients and candidates better understand the current market forces that affect earning potential. 

Is your organization hiring key product and design positions to drive growth? 

Book a consultation with our friendly and knowledgeable team — we live and breathe the talent ecosystem and can help you better  understand the current market.