Chief Product Officer (CPO)

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What is a chief product officer (CPO)?


Definition of a chief product officer (CPO)

The chief product officer, known as head of product in some companies, is a key role in many technology companies today, especially in the SaaS space. The CPO is responsible for overseeing a technology company’s full range of product operations, including strategy, innovation, management, and marketing.

But at the most fundamental level, the goal of the CPO is to align the product strategy with the overarching strategy of the organization.

What are the responsibilities of a chief product officer?

In simple terms, the CPO is responsible for delivering a product that solves customer problems while also providing an exceptional customer experience.

As a C-level role, the CPO sits at the top of the product organization and therefore has influence over every team within it. This means a brand’s CPO is responsible for product management, product marketing, design and development, innovation, and more.

How does the chief product officer relate to other product roles?

Because the CPO heads up the entire product team, the person in this role supervises each main product department in some capacity — and will usually have product team heads report up to them.

So, in many technology companies, a CPO’s direct reports will be roles such as director of product management, director of user (or customer) experience, director of product analytics, and so on.

General FAQ

What does a chief product officer do?
A chief product officer, or CPO, is responsible for overseeing and supervising all product teams within an organization. This includes product management, product marketing, user experience, product analytics, and more.
How to become a chief product officer?
The path to becoming a CPO differs for everyone, but many CPOs will have achieved distinguished qualifications, such as PhDs. They will almost always have many years of experience in other product-based roles.
How much does a chief product officer make?
As an executive-level position, the role of chief product officer is typically very well paid, with the average salary of a CPO in the United States sitting at over $240,000 as of September 2020.

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