VP Product Compensation: Insights and Trends

We were recently engaged by a client to conduct a search for a VP Product Management. The mission of this hire was to see the business through its next stage of global growth.

This growth included new product opportunities as well as maturing and optimizing the product organization's processes to become a more 'product led' business.

Our client is an international B2B software and services company whose enterprise solutions are used by some of the world's largest companies.

We conducted a targeted search across North America, focusing on senior product leaders. The ideal persona was candidates who had:

  • Led a large product organization (20+ people)
  • Managed B2B SaaS products 
  • Transformed an organization whether through an IPO, acquisition or integration
  • Scaled a business to achieve revenue growth
  • Strategic and market facing experience 

Our client interviewed 5 candidates:

The Product Pro - $250K base, $300K OTE

  • 20 years of employment experience, all of which were spent in Product Management 
  • Leadership experience including, building and managing teams across multiple organizational structures (direct, indirect, matrix, distributed & managing managers)
  • Experience working on B2B SaaS products used by a number of industries and business verticals
  • Member of a SLT whose business generated close to $100M ARR
  • A modern product management leader who applies the 'best of' processes and frameworks to achieve repeatability and results 
  • MBA, PMP, Pragmatic Marketing and Design Thinking degrees

The GTM Leader - $180K Base, $300K OTE

  • 25 years of employment experience, 12 of which were spent in Product Management
  • Management experience limited to direct reports of teams no larger than 10
  • Experienced in international business and multilingual
  • A strategic, market facing, partner and customer engaging leader
  • Experience leading a business through a transformation from an on-premise software and business model to a SaaS model
  • Considered an 'expert' in GTM strategy which drives growth at scale
  • STEM degree + MBA

The Product Chief -  $300K Base, $450K OTE

  • 25+ years of employment experience and whose path into Product Management came after a successful career in Presales and Solution Delivery leadership 
  • Cross-functional hiring and management experience
  • Experience managing complex, multi-product solutions used to operate large enterprises in multiple industries
  • Experience developing a build/buy/partner evaluation process and leading the due diligence to acquire and integrate a company
  • A business product leader, engaged with customers and the broader market including partners and analysts
  • Successful leading an organization through revenue growth from single digits to almost $100M
  • Participated in an exit
  • STEM degree

The Scale Up Leader - $275K Base + $400k OTE + Significant Equity 

  • 25+ years of employment experience, including 20 years of management experience (people, business units and product line)
  • This candidate's path into product management began with Engineering
  • Management of teams as large as 20
  • Product experiences focused on enterprise solutions used by large enterprises across multiple verticals including telcos, manufacturing and energy/utilities
  • Tasked with standing up a product org where historically a business had been engineering led
  • Additionally responsible for the Product Marketing org and the strategy behind impactful product launches across inhouse sales teams as well as partner sales channels
  • Experience scaling a business from $30M to almost $100M ARR
  • Championed 2 business transformations (from a legacy solution to a modern SaaS business model) and participated in 3 exits
  • STEM degree + MBA

The Hire

  • 23 years of employment experience, 21 of which spent in Product Management
  • Leadership and management of enterprise grade software solutions sold to large enterprises
  • Product experiences include business applications as well as technically complex products which require close collaboration with Engineering counterparts
  • Customer and marketing facing, experienced working with stakeholders of the global Fortune 1000
  • Championed numerous acquisitions and product roadmap integrations
  • An executive comfortable leading a business and its teams through transformational change management
  • A strategist, capable of identifying product led opportunities which lead to revenue and customer growth
  • Masters Degree, numerous patents awarded and employer recognition awards

To land this candidate, our client offered $250k base, significant equity and a first year OTE of $350k.

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.