Salary Insights: Principal Product Manager

We were recently engaged by a client to conduct a search for a Principal Product Manager. The mission of this hire was to bring a strategic lens to the product management organization and put enterprise customers at the center of the discovery phase.

Typical of most companies whose solution is a security (SecOps / DevOps) product, the business largely employs highly technical staff. The VP Product wanted to make a strategic hire who would be able to engage with the market, understand the needs and future needs of their customers, and see those opportunities through into the roadmap and ultimately into future releases.

Our client is an international B2B software and services company whose solutions are used by some of the world's largest companies in the development process. We conducted a targeted search across the UK, Europe and the USA. The ideal persona was a candidate who:

  • Owned a multi-product portfolio of security solutions, specifically for DevOps or SecOps
  • Scaled a business to achieve growth
  • Had experience working with the market: customers, partners and stakeholders
  • A SME with credibility in the market and with engineering
The client interviewed 5 candidates:

The Brit - €107K Base + Bonus + Equity

  • 13 years of employment experience, all of which were spent in the SecOps category, and 6 years in Product Management
  • Experience scaling a product and functionality from a nascent V1 to a fully functioning, value rich product
  • A right hand to the VP Product of their current employer, functioning as the Lead on multiple product initiatives
  • Market facing, representing the VoC
  • UK-based
  • STEM degree + numerous product management certifications

The German - €95K Base + Bonus + Options

  • 12 years of employment experience, all of it spent in Product Management for security tech solutions
  • Experience includes both startup and large industry leading software vendors
  • Scope of product management includes both product discovery and product delivery
  • Attuned to product trends, the competitive landscape of SECops & DEVops solutions and the current requirements of development teams
  • Based in Germany
  • STEM degree + Masters


The Texan - $220K US Base + Bonus + RSUs

  • 9 years of employment experience, and 4 years spent in product management
  • Considered a SME in the areas of cybersecurity
  • Historically worked very closely with Product Marketing teams on GTM strategies
  • A growth focused technical PM who has been a part of identifying new product introduction opportunities
  • Led the product integration of a recently acquired company
  • Experience with 0-1 product launches
  • US-based
  • STEM + Masters

The NorEasterner - $180K USD + 20% Bonus + Options

  • 17 years of employment experience, including 15 years as a Product Manager
  • Considered a SME in the areas of cybersecurity
  • Led the management of an AppSec platform for a large vendor, transforming the developer experience
  • Management experience of 2 Product Managers while also functioning as a Senior/Principal level Product Manager
  • US-based
  • STEM + Masters and numerous certifications in project and product management

The Hire

  • 15 years of employment experience, including working for cybersecurity tech companies and in the financial services industry
  • Experience managing teams as large as 10 
  • Previously worked for startup and scaleup business models which are intense and outcome focused
  • A thought leader and SME, regularly asked to contribute to or speak at industry events, stages, digital platforms/blogs and analyst calls
  • Based in Europe
  • B.Sc. + Masters + MBA + Ph.D. 


To land this hire, our client offered a €170k Base + €15k Bonus + €5k 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 all context, what a person has earned in the past, and ad hoc conversations with others in the field.

We’re sharing market insights into current compensation packages for key roles in the tech industry. Our recruiters conduct targeted searches on behalf of our clients, seeking out candidates who fit the requirements of the role and diligently qualifying them to present only the very best talent. These posts are meant to highlight the contextual elements that makeup compensation, and to help our clients and candidates better understand the current market forces that affect earning potential. 

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