What is a CPO or Chief Product Officer?

Ruben Buijs
Ruben Buijs
July 24, 2023
 min read
What is a CPO or Chief Product Officer?

As the ever-evolving world of technology continues to unfold, a new breed of corporate titans emerges, one of which is the Chief Product Officer (CPO).

This article unravels the mystery behind this corporate title, providing a comprehensive understanding of the CPO role, their key objectives, and what makes them integral to an organization.

With insights on the CPO's average salary, the path to becoming a CPO, and the significant difference between a CPO and other product leaders, this read is a deep-dive into the exciting realm of product management.


Here's a quick summary of the key points covered in this blog post:

  • A CPO is a c-level executive responsible for all product-related matters within an organization.
  • They play a critical role in setting the product vision and strategy, managing the product lifecycle, and driving business growth.
  • The path to becoming a CPO often involves experience in product management and business strategy roles, among others.
  • The CPO's key objectives include creating a product vision, supervising product teams, and monitoring product performance.
  • A CPO's influence extends across multiple departments within an organization, and they often work closely with other executives to achieve company goals.

What Does CPO Stand For?

CPO stands for Chief Product Officer, a corporate title referring to an executive responsible for all product-related matters within an organization.

The CPO oversees the entire product organization and works closely with various teams within the organization.

This includes product development, product marketing, product design, product analytics, and even user experience (UX).

What is the Role of a Chief Product Officer?

The Chief Product Officer is a c-level executive who provides strategic direction for the product portfolio, including product development and lifecycle management.

The CPO's primary role is to ensure that the company’s products provide value to customers and align with the company's business strategy.

This involves overseeing the entire product lifecycle, from initial concept to product launch and beyond.

The CPO is responsible for ensuring that each product meets the customer's needs and goals and aligns with the company's vision and strategy.

The CPO also works closely with other executives, like the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to drive business growth.

What are the Key Objectives of a CPO?

The CPO's key objectives include creating a product vision and strategy that drives business growth, supervising product teams, and monitoring metrics related to product performance.

The CPO must also balance the goals of both the product and the business, including factors like budget, resources, and market demand.

In essence, a CPO is responsible for managing the product's performance, lifecycle, and customer experience.

CPO versus Head of Product: What’s the Difference?

While the titles may sound similar, the CPO and the Head of Product have distinct roles.

A CPO, being an executive responsible for the entire product organization, has a broader scope.

They oversee the overall product strategy, while also being involved in broader company goals.

On the other hand, the Head of Product is typically focused on a specific product or service, working closely with product managers and teams to execute the product roadmap.

How does a CPO influence Product Management?

A CPO influences product management by setting the strategic product direction and making key product decisions.

The CPO leads a product team and works closely with the Head of Product and Director of Product Marketing to ensure the product aligns with the company's vision and market needs.

The CPO's role in influencing product management extends across multiple departments, including UX, product analytics, and product innovation.

What is the Average Salary of a Chief Product Officer?

While the average salary of a Chief Product Officer can vary depending on the size and industry of the company, it's safe to say that it is a high-ranking, well-compensated role.

Many tech companies reward their CPOs handsomely, recognizing the vital role they play in driving product innovation and business strategy.

What are the KPIs for a Chief Product Officer?

The Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for a Chief Product Officer often include metrics related to product performance, customer experience, and business growth.

The CPO is also accountable for the performance of the product team and the achievement of product-related KPIs.

The CPO uses these indicators to monitor and manage the product portfolio effectively.

How does a CPO Interact with the Organizational Structure?

The CPO interacts closely with the organizational structure, working in tandem with other executives like the CTO, CEO, and VP of Product.

The CPO provides direction for the product department, which includes product managers, the head of product analytics, and the director of product marketing.

They ensure the product's vision and strategy align with the company's overall goals.

How does a CPO Provide Strategic Product Direction?

The CPO provides strategic product direction by setting the product vision, driving the product roadmap, and making critical decisions about product development and design.

The CPO's strategic direction is product-led, focusing on creating products that deliver value to customers and support the company's business strategy.

How to Become a CPO?

The path to becoming a CPO typically involves a deep understanding of product management, business strategy, and customer needs.

It often requires experience in roles such as product manager, VP of Product, or Director of UX.

Strong leadership skills, the ability to understand market trends and customer needs, and a track record of leading successful product teams are also crucial.


In conclusion, the Chief Product Officer (CPO) is a pivotal role that drives the strategic direction and overall success of a company's product portfolio.

Their extensive responsibilities span setting product vision and strategy, managing the product lifecycle, and fostering cross-departmental collaboration.

With a deep understanding of market trends, business strategy, and customer needs, CPOs are indispensable leaders in the world of product management.

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