Product Leadership: A Hiring Blueprint for $50M ARR to IPO

Hiring your next Head of Product? We studied every Head of Product at 65+ SaaS companies from founding to IPO. Our second chapter, Product Leadership: A Hiring Blueprint from $50M ARR to IPO focuses on considerations for hiring a Head of Product by evaluating the influence of several key operational traits on a leader's longevity.

Hiring for Success

  • After reaching $50M ARR, most externally hired Heads of Product have previously led product organizations.
  • Specifically, most Heads of Product at this stage have led product functions at companies of comparable or larger size, which resulted in better tenure outcomes relative to those with prior Head of Product experience at <50M ARR companies

While prioritizing prior Head of Product experience at large-scale companies can lead to longevity, hires with public company product SVP / VP experience yielded slightly better tenure outcomes.

When considering prior leadership roles, we believe there are two profiles a CEO should aim to target:

1. Prior Head of Product experience at public companies or $50M+ ARR private companies

2. Prior public company SVP/VP product experience who spent 6 years at the company and owned at least one product

While public company experience is common, 91% of Heads of Product at IPO had not gone through an IPO process before, indicating a manageable learning curve for first-timers.


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