Are product managers an expensive luxury now?
As Meta begins the restructuring process for its "year of efficiency", it's becoming apparent that some jobs are valued more than others.
In last week's message to staff, Mark Zuckerberg said Meta wants "a more optimal ratio of engineers to other roles" as it looks to "keep technology the main thing." Zuckerberg's phrasing was (deliberately opaque) but buried within it appeared to be the message that while product managers are important gatekeepers, the ideal team is "lean" and engineer-heavy rather than filled with product managers plotting new releases. Meta will presumably be hiring fewer product managers in the future.
Are product managers even necessary at all? Historically, engineers at Citadel, for example praised the firm for avoid pure product types and promoting direct engagement with end users. Engineers there were master-of-all-trades types serving as architecture, engineering, sales and product professionals, but we understand this may have changed and that Citadel also has a few product managers now.
Banks meanwhile have fully embraced product managers, as have fintechs. Goldman Sachs is hiring for a portfolio accounting product management lead in New York, who could earn a base salary of up to 235k. A JPMorgan Product manager listing in California (home to some of its top engineering talent) has a flat range; they will be paying a salary of $275k.
One area in which product is receiving a lot of love is fintech. We cited it as one of the big hiring spots for product talent in our 2023 predictions and indications are the market for fintech product people is still strong. At Stripe, product managers possibly earn more than engineers. A current job listing indicates that a staff engineer job their crypto division can earn a maximum salary of just ("just") $261.7k. For a product lead listing there, the maximum salary is $308.3k. When you can afford them, product managers are clearly worth it.
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