Interim Chief Product Officer recruitment

If you are looking for an Interim Chief Product Officer job and would like to know what skills you need, and what salaries are on offer, you will find a complete guide below. 

If you’re an employer looking to recruit an Interim Chief Product Officer please see our interim recruitment page or click the button below to speak to us directly.

What is an Interim Chief Product Officer?

An Interim Chief Product Officer (CPO) is a temporary executive position within a company responsible for overseeing the development, management, and strategic direction of its products or services. The role of an Interim CPO typically arises when a company needs leadership in product development and strategy on an interim basis, either due to a sudden vacancy in the CPO position, a period of transition, or a specific project or initiative that requires specialised expertise.

Interim CPOs are often experienced professionals with a strong background in product management, product development, and business strategy. They are brought in to provide leadership, guidance, and expertise in areas such as product roadmap planning, market research, user experience design, product launch strategies, and team management.

The interim nature of the role means that the individual may not be a permanent employee of the company but rather contracted for a specific period of time or until a permanent replacement is found. Interim CPOs are tasked with maintaining continuity in product development and strategy while also helping to identify and address any immediate challenges or opportunities facing the company’s products or services.

When to hire an Interim Chief Product Officer?

  1. CPO vacancy: When the current CPO resigns, retires, or is terminated, hiring an interim CPO ensures continuity in product leadership during the recruitment process for a permanent replacement.
  2. Period of transition: During company mergers, acquisitions, or major restructuring, an interim CPO can provide stability and direction to product development efforts amidst organisational changes.
  3. Specific project or initiative: For launching a new product line, entering a new market, devising a go-to-market strategy, developing minimal viable products or addressing critical product challenges, hiring an interim CPO with specialised expertise can accelerate progress and mitigate risks.
  4. Rapid growth phase: When a company experiences sudden growth and needs to scale its product development efforts quickly, hiring an interim CPO can help manage the increased workload and ensure alignment with the company’s strategic objectives
  5. Interim CPO as a mentor: Sometimes, companies may hire an interim CPO to mentor existing product teams, provide guidance on best practices, or offer strategic advice on product roadmap planning, even if there isn’t a specific vacancy or transition occurring.
  6. Creating a product-led culture: Transitioning all areas of the business to a product-led approach. 

What is the difference between Interim and Fractional CPO?

The distinction between an interim Chief Product Officer (CPO) and a fractional CPO lies in their engagement model and duties. An interim CPO serves on a temporary, full-time basis, focusing on maintaining product development continuity during transitions or vacancies. They immerse themselves in day-to-day tasks, providing hands-on leadership until a permanent CPO is appointed, and are compensated with a full-time salary reflective of their temporary executive role.

Conversely, a fractional CPO operates part-time, offering strategic advice and guidance to multiple clients simultaneously. Their role centers on strategic advisory rather than hands-on management, and they work flexibly, often on retainer or contract. Fractional CPOs provide cost-effective access to high-level product leadership for businesses seeking strategic direction without the commitment of a full-time executive salary.

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Interim Chief Product Officer responsibilities

The responsibilities of an Interim Chief Product Officer (CPO) include:

Product strategy development

Defining and executing short-term and long-term product strategies to align with business goals and market needs. Interim CPOs may focus more on immediate priorities and stabilising product initiatives compared to permanent CPOs who have a longer-term perspective.

Product roadmap planning

Creating and communicating product roadmaps to guide development efforts and prioritise features. Interim CPOs may prioritise quick wins and essential enhancements, whereas permanent CPOs may have the luxury to focus on more ambitious, long-term innovations.

Read our guide to 5 steps to creating a product roadmap

Team leadership

Leading cross-functional product teams, providing direction, support, and mentorship to achieve objectives. Interim CPOs may emphasise maintaining team morale and productivity during transitions, while permanent CPOs focus on long-term team development and talent acquisition.

Read more about CPO leadership styles

Market research and analysis

Conducting market research, analysing competitor offerings, and identifying emerging trends to inform product decisions. Interim CPOs may prioritise immediate market opportunities and risks, whereas permanent CPOs maintain a continuous focus on market evolution and long-term positioning.

Product performance evaluation

Monitoring key product metrics and performance indicators, iterating on products based on user feedback and data analysis. Interim CPOs may focus on stabilising product performance and addressing urgent issues, while permanent CPOs maintain a more comprehensive view of product evolution and iteration over time.

Other responsibilities may include:

  • Build products that offer sustainable value, revenue and growth for the business
  • Product modification to improve customer satisfaction
  • Customer journey optimisation
  • Oversee UX and UI plans

While both interim and permanent CPOs share core responsibilities in product management, the focus and scope of their duties may differ. Interim CPOs often prioritise short-term goals, stabilisation, and immediate needs, while permanent CPOs have the luxury of focusing on longer-term strategy, team development, and product innovation.

Interim Chief Product Officer day rate?

An Interim Chief Product Officer day rate would be in the region of £1000-£1500.

Read our guide:
Product management salary 2024

Interim Chief Product Officer job description

Interim Chief Product Officer (CPO)

About Us:
[Insert Company Name] is at the forefront of innovation, revolutionising [brief description of products/services]. As we enter an exciting phase of growth, we are seeking an exceptional Interim Chief Product Officer (CPO) to provide strategic leadership and drive our product vision forward.

Job Title: Interim Chief Product Officer (CPO)

Company: [Insert Company Name], a cutting-edge tech scale-up company poised for rapid expansion in the [Insert Industry or Product Focus] sector.

Location: [Insert Location, if applicable – Remote/On-site]

Duration: Temporary, [Insert Duration]

About Us: [Insert Company Name] is at the forefront of innovation, revolutionising [Brief Description of Products/Services]. As we enter an exciting phase of growth, we are seeking an exceptional Interim Chief Product Officer (CPO) to provide strategic leadership and drive our product vision forward.


  1. Product Vision and Strategy: Develop and articulate a compelling product vision and strategy that aligns with the company’s overall objectives and positions us as a market leader.

  2. Executive Leadership: Serve as a key member of the executive team, contributing to high-level decision-making, corporate strategy, and operational planning.

  3. Product Portfolio Management: Oversee the entire product portfolio, identifying opportunities for growth, optimisation, and innovation across all product lines.

  4. Cross-Functional Collaboration: Foster strong relationships and collaboration with engineering, marketing, sales, and other departments to ensure alignment and execution of product initiatives.

  5. Market Analysis and Positioning: Conduct in-depth market analysis, competitive intelligence, and customer research to drive product differentiation and maintain a competitive edge.

  6. Risk Management: Identify and mitigate potential risks to product success, proactively addressing challenges and adapting strategies as needed.

  7. Talent Development: Attract, mentor, and develop top-tier product management talent, fostering a culture of excellence and continuous improvement within the product company.


  • Proven track record of success in executive-level product leadership roles within fast-paced, high-growth tech companies.
  • Deep expertise in product strategy, portfolio management, and market positioning, with a demonstrated ability to drive business growth and maximise ROI.
  • Exceptional leadership and communication skills, with the ability to influence and inspire teams at all levels of the business.
  • Strategic thinker with a strong analytical mindset and the ability to translate complex data into actionable insights.
  • Advanced degree or MBA preferred.


  • Competitive compensation package commensurate with experience and industry standards.
  • Opportunity to play a pivotal role in shaping the future direction of a rapidly expanding company.
  • Collaborative and dynamic work environment with a diverse and talented team.
  • Potential for future opportunities for continued growth and advancement within the business.

Interim Chief Product Officer job skills

Interim CPO: Soft skills

Interim leadership: Proficiency in quickly assimilating into new structures, understanding interim goals, and swiftly driving product management teams towards achieving interim objectives.

Navigating transition: Capacity to efficiently manage and lead amidst organisational transitions, maintaining stability, morale, and focus within product teams during interim periods.

Communication: Exceptional ability to communicate interim strategies, expectations, and updates clearly and effectively to stakeholders, ensuring alignment and confidence during temporary leadership phases.

Collaboration: Strong interpersonal skills to swiftly build trust and collaboration among product management teams, fostering a cohesive environment to deliver on interim goals.

Adaptability: Agility in adapting to changing priorities, market conditions, and internal dynamics, enabling quick adjustments to interim product strategies to capitalise on opportunities and mitigate risks.

Interim CPO: Hard skills

Interim product strategy: Demonstrated expertise in formulating and executing interim product strategies that address short-term objectives while aligning with the overall business vision and values.

Market analysis: Proficiency in conducting rapid yet insightful market analyses, competitor assessments, and customer feedback evaluations to inform interim product decisions and maintain competitive advantage.

Project management: Use project management methodologies tailored for interim contexts, ensuring efficient resource allocation, timely delivery, and successful achievement of interim product milestones.

Change management: Experience in interim change management processes, facilitating smooth transitions, overcoming resistance, and ensuring interim initiatives are embraced and executed effectively.

Stakeholder engagement: Advanced skills in managing relationships with executive leadership, cross-functional teams, and external partners, garnering support and alignment for interim product initiatives while navigating temporary leadership structures.

Employers: what can an Interim Chief Product Officer do for your business?

An Interim Chief Product Officer (CPO) can significantly impact your business by:

Maintaining continuity: Through seamless leadership transitions, ensuring that product development initiatives remain on track, reducing downtime and avoiding revenue loss.

Driving immediate impact: Rapidly assessing product performance metrics such as customer acquisition costs, retention rates, and revenue per user, then implementing targeted strategies to optimise these metrics for immediate improvement.

Providing strategic guidance: Leveraging market analysis and customer feedback to refine product strategies, leading to increased market penetration, higher customer satisfaction scores, and improved product-market fit.

Accelerating growth: Identifying and capitalising on growth opportunities, leading to metrics improvements such as increased user engagement, expanded market share, and higher average revenue per user.

Mitigating risks: Proactively addressing product-related risks by implementing robust risk management processes, resulting in reduced product launch failures, decreased customer churn, and enhanced brand reputation.

Building high-performing teams: Implementing talent development initiatives that lead to metrics improvements such as higher employee satisfaction scores, reduced turnover rates, and increased productivity within product teams.

Facilitating change management: Guiding product teams through company changes, resulting in smoother transitions, improved employee morale, and increased alignment between product initiatives and broader company goals.

Overall, an interim Chief Product Officer’s strategic leadership can translate into tangible improvements across various key performance indicators, driving business success and laying the foundation for sustainable growth.

Interim Product job interview questions

Read our guide to 28 interim product interview questions to ask your Interim Chief Product Officer candidates.

What is the difference: Interim Chief Product Officer versus Interim Product Director

The difference between an Interim Chief Product Officer (CPO) and an Interim Product Director lies in their level of seniority and scope of influence. Interim CPOs hold top leadership positions within companies, reporting directly to the CEO or board of directors, and are responsible for setting overall product strategy and direction. Conversely, Interim Product Directors oversee specific products or product lines, focusing on day-to-day management and execution rather than strategic decision-making.

While Interim CPOs have a strategic focus on long-term product vision and organisational growth, Interim Product Directors take a more tactical approach, concentrating on product execution and meeting short-term goals. Interim CPOs provide guidance on complex strategic issues and drive innovation across the entire product portfolio, while Interim Product Directors are more hands-on in their management of specific product initiatives.

Other interim product roles we recruit for


What is the role of a fractional CPO?
The role of a fractional Chief Product Officer (CPO) is to provide strategic leadership and guidance on product development and management to multiple companies simultaneously. Working on a part-time basis, a fractional CPO offers expertise in product strategy, roadmap planning, and team leadership, helping organisations optimise their product portfolios, drive innovation, and achieve their business objectives. This flexible engagement model allows companies to access high-level product leadership and expertise without the financial commitment of hiring a full-time executive, making fractional CPOs valuable partners in navigating complex product challenges and accelerating growth.
What is the salary of an Interim Chief Product Officer?
An Interim Chief Product Officer could reach a day rate of £1000 to £1500 in 2024.
Is CPO higher than VP?
Yes traditionally a CPO position is higher than a VP Product position within a business. A CPO would often manage a VP Product position, whilst reporting directly into the CEO of a business themselves.
What is the hierarchy of a Chief Product Officer?
A Chief Product Officer is the highest position within a product management team. A CPO often reports directly into the CEO of a business and sits on the leadership team.