CPO recruitment agency

At Intelligent People, we’re confident we can offer a better experience than any other product management executive search company. We’re Chief Product Officer recruitment specialists delivering an 100% Executive Search placement record for our clients. 

Chielf Product Officer With Product Director

What is a Chief Product Officer?

A CPO is responsible for aligning the company’s product strategy with its overall business goals and objectives. They work closely with other departments, such as marketing, engineering, and sales, to ensure that the product roadmap is aligned with customer needs, market trends, and the latest technology trends. 

Their primary focus is on driving innovation and creating products that meet customer demands and deliver value. They are involved in every stage of the product lifecycle, from conceptualisation to launch and beyond. 

Product Manager
Principle Consultant

Why are we different?

Our absolute focus on product executive search

Product management is one of our 3 specialist disciplines and we’ve structured our teams so that our Principal Consultants have first-hand experience of working within product roles themselves, allowing them to intuitively know what good looks like for product management executive searches. We’ve placed hundreds of candidates at CPO and VP Product levels, and we’re trusted to do that for a reason.

See product recruitment case studies

Our ability to connect and engage CPO and VP candidates

We brief each candidate about the vision of your business, the product roadmap, any potential roadblocks to success, and most importantly what impact the candidate can have on your business. We like to show our executive product candidates what they could achieve within 1 year, 3 years and 5 years at the business, and whet their appetite for success.

Find out more about engagement

Candidate Interview
Product Roadmap
Our speed of delivery

Our biggest strength as a CPO and VP executive search firm is our existing candidate database. As we already have a network of candidates which is 35,000 strong, we do not have to spend time at the ‘discovery’ phase of work that other product executive search firms need to. This means our speed of delivery is second to none, delivering a shortlist of top-level CPO talent to you within 5 – 6 weeks.

View our recruitment method

Case study: VP Product

Overall, I’d highly recommend Intelligent People for both contingent and retained executive searches within product. Both experiences I’ve had with the business, for a Head of Product and VP Product roles, have been extremely positive. The recruitment team were able to provide a good range of strong candidates for each search. The communication from Doug and his team has been highly effective and has helped to drive the results we’ve needed for the business.’

Read full case study


Stuart Cochran
Owen Novata

Case study: Product recruitment

‘I trust Chris at Intelligent People to help build first class product management teams for my business. His open and collaborative approach to recruitment is refreshing, with strong knowledge and experience across the product management space that we need from a recruitment partner.’

Read full case study

I need to hire

Tell us more about your vacancy and what you are looking for in a candidate.

We’ll listen carefully to your needs and using our industry experience and vast network, we’ll connect you to real talent in the market.

Fill in this form or alternatively contact us on 01727 736690.

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D&I in Product Management Roundtable

Watch the first Roundtable in our series, led by prominent and inclusive product leaders who share their thoughts and experiences from their careers to-date.

There is a growing understanding that D&I is not only ethically important, but also crucial for business performance – but there seems a disconnect between knowing the importance versus the rate of change within businesses

Watch the full video to understand what is happening in Product Management and what we can do to affect change.

How to build a strong product team Roundtable

Join us for an engaging Roundtable event titled “How to Build a High Performing Product Team”, where 4 product management industry experts will share valuable insights, strategies, and best practices on creating and leading successful product teams.

Section 1: What does a high-performance team look like?

Section 2: Common challenges in building a high-performance team.

Section 3: Steps to building a product team.

Section 4: Best practices for leading a product team.

CPO recruiters: retained search

Product retained search means that we as a recruitment agency charge 33% of the fee at 3 different stages of the recruitment process; on engagement, on shortlist and on placement of the candidate. This allows us as specialist CPO recruiters to devote the time it needs to find the best product executive level placement for you. How do we do this?

Our CPO executive search process


Every search begins with a clear definition of requirements – what you need and what impact this senior product appointment will have on your business. We’ll identifying key leadership competences, product industry experience and personal qualities to benchmark candidates.

Candidate identification & process management

We use multiple channels to identify high-performing CPO candidates, complemented by our network of global connections, providing tailored referrals and recommendations. Only individuals who demonstrate genuine leadership capability against the original brief are presented at shortlist stage.

Competitor headhunting

Intelligent People are already known to many senior product executives within the UK and beyond, so we are able to attract and engage candidates working within the competitor landscape.

Interview and feedback

As part of our service, we will co-ordinate and prep our clients for interviews. Clients need to showcase to potential executive appointments the excellent employer brand and culture within the business as well as other benefits including salary and incentive packages.

Notepad And Laptop

How to hire a CPO 2024

Looking to hire a Chief Product Officer in 2024? Our comprehensive guide can assist you in the hiring process by covering the following topics:

  • Definition of CPO role
  • Salary expectations
  • Instances when a CPO can add value to your business
  • Interview questions that can help you assess candidates
  • Optimal interview formats to use 
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Partner Up Product Mentorship

Product mentorship scheme

Our commitment to the product management community is unwavering. We endorse groups that champion this industry, and take great pride in fostering connections within the community.

To further support and empower product professionals at all stages of their careers, we have introduced a mentorship program specifically for product management. Our program offers a forum for individuals to engage, network, gain access to new resources, and enhance their skill set.

Find out more

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Interim management

Intelligent People can supply interim executive talent across a wide range of projects, requirements, and international locations. Whether you need immediate cover following a sudden departure, business transformation expertise, turnaround capability, M&A, MBO or IPO experience, our functional expertise and specialist knowledge will provide the right solution with speed and efficiency.

Interim services

Executive Business Leader Laptop 1

Product management executive search Europe

We are also a specialist product executive search recruitment agency within Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Our global network of candidates allows us to quickly headhunt and place executive level talent into businesses within the European market.

If you are an organisation looking to make product appointments at executive level but do not have the required time, resources or expertise of Europe and the European market, we are the product management executive search firm for you.

Trusted by

Further executive search reading

I’ve had a long history with Doug at Intelligent People, we’ve been working together since 2010. The main reason for this long-standing relationship is that I trust Doug to get the results that I need. It’s nice that we get on personally, but ultimately, I go to Doug because he makes the recruitment process work for me. He quickly identifies what I need, understands what skills are needed to fill the gap, and the type of person that is likely to fit into my teams. Read the full case study.

Doug Slate
Doug Conely

Simply put, Intelligent People are my go-to for product hires. They have always been honest, professional, and considerate balancing the needs of candidates with those of the hiring company. For my recent search – in a very difficult market – they were my first port of call and helped me land the perfect Product Manager for the role, who’s doing a fantastic job. The process was simple and straightforward, the shortlist was exactly what I wanted and the advice along the way, including salary benchmarks, candidate profiling and analysis was invaluable and refreshing in the scrappy world of recruitment. Read the full case study.

Nick Brown
Nick Brown

I trust Chris at Intelligent People to help build first class product management teams for my business. His open and collaborative approach to recruitment is refreshing, with strong knowledge and experience across the product management space that we need from a recruitment partner. Read full case study.

Owen Novata
Owen Riddall

A friendly and professional team who really know their market and clients, I’d highly recommend Intelligent People as specialist recruiters for product and product design. They take the time to thoroughly understand a brief, role and requirements, and always put forward a shortlist of highly relevant candidates. Intelligent People are our first stop for product positions, and we’ve successfully recruited a number of both contract and perm roles over the years.

Ruth Tapley
Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd


Q: What does executive search do?
A: Executive search consultants find senior candidates who have a strong, broad skill set with deep industry knowledge. To find the best candidates, a business usually partners with an executive search firm to do a retained search, which will include extensive market mapping, competitor analysis and headhunting of potential candidates. This is retained as the client usually pays a percentage of the recruitment fee upfront.
Q: When should I hire a CPO?
A: It’s likely that a company looks to hire a Chief Product Officer (CPO) as the business prepares for rapid scale up of its activities, and this usually coincides with a recent funding round, either series A or B, and investor cashflow into the business. Some examples of when to hire a CPO are: - when the CEO’s knowledge of product management is no longer advanced enough - when the CEO doesn’t have the time to dedicate to product - when the existing but junior product person or team is no longer adequate enough to support business growth - you are starting to look at new territories to launch your product or service - you are trying to balance acquisition of new customers to your product and a growth in market share with retention of your existing customers - you are looking to introduce new product lines to the market, creating a product portfolio - you have received another round of funding, and want to increase your market share - when your competitors are outperforming you in the market in sales, growth, customer experience and customer retention metrics.
Q: What questions should I ask my CPO?
A: What interview questions should I ask a CPO candidate? We've complied a guide of questions to ask including general questions, stakeholder and leadership questions, self awareness questions, roadmap questions and decision making questions. Before interviewing CPOs, you must first be clear about the impact you need them to make. What do you need them to do?