Job Description

 Principal Product Manager

Do you think like a CEO or founder? Are you interested in helping define the future of digital in the peer-to-peer vehicle sales space? If so, Cars.com has the role for you.  The Principal Product Manager will spearhead an entirely new company initiative aimed at innovating in the digital automotive space for private car sellers.  We’re looking for a strategic leader and visionary that will create an innovative, customer-first experience for individual car buyers and sellers, changing what has been a stagnant sales process for more than 50 years.  

Utilizing a lean test & learn approach to innovation, this person will work closely with a dedicated team of designers and engineers; be responsible for ideating on product concepts, taking them from napkin sketches through commercial release. The PPM will own the business and monetization strategies, monitor customer needs, the competitive landscape and industry trends to create and execute a compelling product roadmap in close cooperation with Sales, Marketing, Analytics, UX, Engineering, Operations and Finance. 

This role will lead a collaborative and cross-functional effort across all aspects of his or her domain.  They will help drive strategies relative to consumer experience decisions, monetization, traffic acquisition, partner relationships, the financial P&L, operational support and 4-year roadmap of success.  This role calls for a collaborative leader that has great communication skills, a vision for the future of peer-to-peer vehicle sales and how this impacts the digital automotive landscape.

 

Key Responsibilities Include:

  • Lead the development of a compelling product vision for Cars.com across responsive web and mobile app properties.
  • Develop and maintain a roadmap of offerings that provide unique and sustainable competitive differentiation
  • Work with all functions across the organization to test, build, bring to market, and grow revenue with products that will meet internal business objectives and the needs of specific customer segments in the peer-to-peer marketplace
  • Play a key role in the division’s strategic direction, defining and articulating new opportunities, and working in close concert with key stakeholders, including senior leadership, Cars.com technology, design and various business teams, to articulate specific goals
  • Gather and unearth unmet customer needs through research, data analysis, user experience analysis and testing, competitive research and other relevant tools
  • Envision, articulate and prioritize a long-term product strategy and roadmap designed to achieve these goals
  • Clearly communicate strategy and goals to project teams and ensure delivery against them
  • Deliver on rigorous, quantifiable business objectives in a matrixed, flat organization.
  • Closely partner with engineering and design to define problems and solutions, requirements and prioritization

 Required Skills

  • Strong proven leadership capabilities within an online organization. General Manager or CEO experience within a small start-up is a huge plus.
  • Extensive experience leading cross-functional teams in new product launches. Ability to manage release-readiness programs across internal and external stakeholders including product/engineering, sales/account, support, operations, and marketing function
  • Excellent communication and presentation skills with the ability to speak the language of technology and business teams
  • Comfortable presenting to senior leadership with strong attention to detail and the ability to see and explain the big picture
  • Strong technical background and deep familiarity with Agile development methodologies
  • Knowledgeable in technology development best practices and product management methodologies
  • Ability to work quickly and independently in a fast-paced environment, make decisions, rally the troops and hit goals
  • Demonstrated willingness to dig in and get things done
  • Not afraid of testing, learning, and iterating in a lean, flat and autonomous structure
  • Ready and able to start on Day 1 with a blank whiteboard and plenty of sharpies  

Required Experience

  • Minimum of 7 years product management or equivalent experience delivering software or online products to market
  • Bachelors Degree, Master’s Degree preferred
  • Experience with Agile & Lean methodologies
  • Experience in automotive preferred
  • Experience with workflow or project management software applications
 
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