“Who Does the Product Manager Report to?” The answer to this question is largely dependent on the size of the company you are working for. Who a Product Manager reports to is different in a FAANG company than it is in a startup. Often, the job description on LinkedIn will mention who the Product Manager reports to in that company. Regardless of who you will be reporting to as a Product Manager, be sure your expectations are clearly defined and the scope of your role is clearly established with them.
Who Does the Product Manager Report to in a Large Company?
A company with more than 500 employees would be considered a large company. They are usually more established as a company because they have been around for a while. When you become a Product Manager at a FAANG company or other large organization like this, you can expect to report to a chief product officer, VP of product, or program manager.
At a larger company you will definitely be reporting to someone that’s in the product management organization, which may not be the case in smaller companies. For some Product Managers this will be a benefit because they can learn from more experienced people in their field. Other, more experienced Product Managers may be looking to work for a company that grants them a bit more freedom. One key benefit of working for a larger, established company is that the Product Manager position will be a clearly defined role with clear duties and expectations.
In a Mid-Sized Company?
A mid-sized company typically has around 200 to 500 employees. You are probably one of two or three Product Managers working for this organization. Due to the size of the company and product management team, it is likely that you will have a little more say in your position and the opportunity to reach out across multiple departments while working on any given project. You may be reporting to the Head of Product or Senior Product Manager. There is also the possibility that you report to someone who is not on the product side of things such as the CEO or co-founder of the company. This can make for an exciting yet more challenging workflow.
Who Does the Product Manager Report to in a Small Company?
The Product Manager’s role in a smaller, startup company with less than 75 employees will be a bit more chaotic due to the nature of small businesses. Depending on the number of employees, an organization of this size may not even have funding at this point. Your role, along with the business, will be constantly evolving and project priorities will be constantly changing.
You might be the first Product Manager to work for this company, and certainly the only Product Manager on staff, so you will be defining the position as you go. Chances are you will be reporting to the founder or co-founder of the company. If not, then you will report to the head of any department.
Find a Boss You Want to Report to
Finding the right company to work for as a Product Manager will look different for everyone. When it comes down to it, the company you choose to work for will either set you up for failure or success as a Product Manager. You need to think about what you need as a Product Manager based on your confidence and experience in the field. For example, if you need guidance, mentorship, and structure, a large company will be your best fit. If you are looking to gain some experience and familiarity with business ownership, you may lean toward a position in a small business.
Remember, you don’t need to make tough decisions like this on your own. We are here to help you break into product management and find a job you love. If you are struggling on your product management job search, or need advice on deciding what company is best for you, why not reach out for help? Our in-house team is offering free career coaching sessions. Schedule yours today and let us answer any questions you may still have.