Reporting to the Executive Product Director for Business & Economics, the Accounting & Economics Product Director is responsible for directing the management of Cengage Learning’s market-leading learning solutions, developing new products based on market requirements, and increasing the profitability of existing products. This role is accountable for the overall performance of their portfolio and responsible for decision-making and management of an overall P&L. Candidates for this role will have demonstrated success at leading and aligning teams around established company initiatives to meet or exceed business targets.
- Leads and directs a market-focused team through the product lifecycle development at all levels, from tactical to strategic planning. Responsible for overall strategic vision and plan for products and the entire portfolio in order to achieve or exceed strategic goals for market share, top-line, and profit growth.
- Understands and executes on essential aspects of learning design with emphasis on digital learning solutions that address customer workflow and learning challenges. Possesses ability to bring winning customer driven solutions to market in an effective and efficient manner that integrate all associated dimensions.
- Makes sound, market-informed and data-driven business proposals for investment and other strategic decisions. Does so objectively with the ability and willingness to prioritize investments appropriately for the good of the overall organization.
- Acts as a go-to person and strategic leader within the company; has strong business acumen.
- Ensures customer-focused solutions have strong value propositions, meet demonstrated market needs, and provide unique competitive advantage in addressable and quantified market segments.
- Initiate, advocate, and negotiate profitable products and services for new or strategically expanded course offerings, alternative markets and channels, strategic partnerships, all in response to new teaching/learning and business models. Delivers arrangements that are both equitable and profitable for the company and partners and that add measurable value to the company’s offerings.
- Regularly analyze portfolio plans to align forecasting and measurement of progress towards goals and delivery deadlines.
- Serve as visionary and advocate for the business and for customers.
- Works closely with colleagues in other functional areas (Production, Marketing, Sales, Technology, etc.) to convey the strategic vision for the business, provides candid feedback that supports the vision and execution and which leads, to goal achievement.
- Provide thought leadership on pricing, business model strategies, and setting business goals.
- Leads a team of Product Managers, Digital Content Designers, Product Assistants and related Product staff, coaching, advising, and advocating for each employee as their needs warrant. Meet all performance review process deadlines, providing feedback at assigned times and throughout the employee lifecycle and with a focus on career development for team members at all levels.
- Maintains a steady bench of candidates for roles within their team and across the Product organization within their region and at both traditional and new competitive businesses. Leads the hiring process and selects high performers for open positions as they arise. Participates positively in the selection process for stakeholder positions.
- 5+ years relevant product management, marketing, or development experience. Demonstrated success in product development, preferably with digital products.
- BA or BS.
- Excellence at developing and articulating vision and strategy that meet business goals; strong presentation and communication skills. Demonstrated strategic agility. Proven record with strategy creation and execution.
- Drive for Results. “Can-do” attitude and persistence. Proven track record of product success.
- Possesses an understanding of digital functionality and how content is best utilized to communicate information, etc.; can “speak digital” in addition to having an understanding of historical product lines.
- Customer-focused; has a track record of creating successful products by determining customer needs and challenges and translating those to a strong and proven product and value story for the market.
- Interpersonal Savvy. Outstanding communication skills along with the capacity to work within corporate and entrepreneurial environments. Ability to work with different people across a team effectively.
- Ability to champion and execute market-oriented new and innovative approaches, ideas, methods, processes, products and services.
- 2+ years people management experience.
- Strong negotiation and influence skills.
- Possess deep understanding of financial and business metrics, including P&L statements, conversion rates, sell-through, market share, attrition, gross margin, customer satisfaction, and retention rates.
- Possess the same understanding of digital metrics including attach rates, digital penetration, and enrollment statistics.
- Have the desire and ability to put company needs ahead of personal goals.
- Must have ability to travel, as much as 50% during the selling seasons
- Proficient with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
- Passion for education and for digital learning products in particular.
- MBA or other advanced degree in discipline or primary skills, i.e. product management.
- Experience bringing content-based learning solutions to market.
- Experience with agile development processes and recurring release cycles.
3 to 10 years
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