Presented by Amplitude
The digital product world is crowded. People have a smorgasbord of product options to choose from, so customers are hard to gain and even harder to keep. That’s why organizations around the world are adopting a product-led approach. They know the only way they can win in today’s hyper-competitive environment is to have the best product out there.
The adoption of product-led strategies has introduced a new generation of leaders. These product managers, designers and visionaries have typically taken a behind-the-scenes role. But now, they’re becoming the most influential people in business.
“It’s not enough today to develop product roadmaps, design release schedules, and push out new features based on what you think your customers want. Today, product teams are tasked with driving business growth,” said Justin Bauer, Chief Product Officer at Amplitude. “I’ve seen firsthand how innovative, curious, and data-driven leaders can transform product teams, organizations and industries at-large.”
That’s why VentureBeat partnered with judges from Amplitude to identify the most innovative people in product. The Product 50 recognizes the leaders who are developing boundary-breaking, business-making products that are transforming industries and being used around the world. When the call for nominees went out, the response was immense, with more than 800 submissions from product leaders across the globe. Former VentureBeat Head of Product Ben Ilfeld, Amplitude Chief Product Officer Justin Bauer, G2 Chief Product Officer Sara Rossio, and author, consultant, and public speaker Nir Eyal reviewed the nominations and selected the final list.
“In reviewing the hundreds of Product 50 submissions, the judges got to better understand these product leaders, from how they think to how they lead to how they are challenging the status quo,” Bauer says. “The experience reinforced our belief that product people really are driving businesses forward, and I’m so thrilled that we get to celebrate 50 of the top product leaders across the world with this list.”
Selecting the Product 50 winners
The inaugural Product 50 winners are the new guard in product leadership. They are the visionaries who are pioneering digital-first products, transforming age-old companies into it-players, and advising the most successful teams through the product development process. Fifty individuals were named to the list across ten categories, with one individual named winner for each category.
All category winners demonstrate a deep understanding of the customer journey and experience. This group represents co-founders, those who launched their own teams within their company, and leaders on the cutting edge of technology. The top 10 winners are outlined below, but you can check out the full list here.
Meet the 2022 Product 50 winners
Most Admired Product Leader
What up-and-coming product leaders aspire to be
- Title: Product Manager & Head of Technical Team, Google.org
- Company: Google
- About: Jen is the global head of technology at Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, leading all of Google’s pro bono efforts. In 2019, she founded the Google.org Fellowship, which enables Googlers (PMs, UXers, SWEs and more) to work full-time with nonprofits and civic entities, building products that address some of the world’s toughest challenges including the COVID-19 pandemic, systemic racism, economic relief and sustainability. Her projects have been recognized in TIME’s “100 Best Inventions of the Year” and Fast Company’s “World Changing Ideas.”
Best Product Leader, Large Company
Works at a company with 1,000+ employees and has been instrumental to the success of its products
- Title: Group Product Manager, Rider App
- Company: Lyft
- About: Sravanthi has been behind many of the most visible Lyft app product updates of the past four years, shaping Lyft into a recognized design leader. She now heads most of Lyft’s core rider app experience, leading a team of seven product managers and a large cross-functional organization. In 2018, Sravanthi launched Lyft’s largest redesign to date, for which she and her team won a Google Material Design Award. Sravanthi is also a voice for women in product, speaking at the Women in Product Conference in 2020.
Best Product Leader, Midsize Company
Works at a company with 100-1,000 employees and has been instrumental to the success of its products
- Title: Head of Product
- Company: Applied Intuition
- About: As Head of Product, Vijay is responsible for Applied Intuition’s entire product portfolio, which includes more than six revenue-generating products. From his background launching the world’s first autonomous ride-hailing service at Waymo, he understands what it takes to deploy a complex product safely into the real world, how to work with customers across different countries and cultures, and how to run each product like a business of its own. At Applied Intuition, he is enabling companies across different industries and geographies to develop autonomous vehicles safely by providing cutting-edge tools for AV development.
Best Product Leader, Small Company
Works at a company with fewer than 100 employees and has been instrumental to the success of its products
- Title: Former Head of Product
- Company: Wheel
- About: As the former Head of Product at Wheel and a fractional CPO, Tulsi builds elegant solutions for difficult problems. She designed and refined Wheel’s white-labeled, easy-to-use virtual health care platform that has delivered more than a million consults in the last year. Tulsi’s ability to work with sales and marketing has helped her excel at taking products to market early and innovating rapidly. At Wheel, she’s had incredible success in understanding and building a platform for delivering virtual health care in the era of COVID-19, a time when the healthcare landscape seems to change every day.
Most Promising Product Up-and-Comer
Not an executive yet, but sure to be making headlines in the product world one day
- Title: Senior Product Manager
- Company: LingoAce
- About: Zen is a senior product manager at LingoAce, where he instills a culture of experimentation within the product team. A privacy and compliance expert, Zen has built a fully automated, end-to-end process that enables users to easily manage their personal data and data-sharing preferences. In his previous role at Rakuten Viki, Zen defined the company’s product strategy, roadmap and vision for two product verticals, ultimately improving new users’ conversion rate by more than 15% and enhancing the internal tooling platform to improve operational efficiency by around 70%. Zen is a strong believer in imparting knowledge to the next generation of aspiring product managers, serving as a mentor for the Rakuten Product Mentorship Program (Women in Tech @ Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University) and sharing his learnings on Medium, which have garnered over 18K views as of February 2022.
Best Digital-Native Product Leader
Works for a tech-native company and has contributed to the success of its products
- Title: VP of Product and Data
- Company: Common Room
- Karen is the VP of Product and Data at Common Room, the intelligent community growth platform that helps organizations build better products, grow happier customers, measure outcomes, and drive business impact. She joined the team in 2021 to build a world-class product management organization. Karen is an established product leader with deep community expertise and a clear track record of creating products that make people’s lives better—at a scale of millions. Her previous roles include Director of Product Management at Google where she led the Android and Wearable Developer product lines and created Jetpack Compose, Chief of Staff at Microsoft transforming culture from closed to open source, and a product leader in the early days of Azure DevOps and the C# programming language. She cares deeply about culture, inclusive tech, and always pushing what could be.
- Headshot link
Best Digital Transformation Product Leader
Works for a non-tech-native company and helped it launch or enhance its digital product(s)
- Title: Head of Product for Amex Digital Labs
- Company: American Express
- About: Lisa Yokoyama is the Vice President and Head of Product within American Express’s innovation lab, driving the product vision, strategy, and roadmap for enterprise-wide digital solutions. She oversees a team of product leaders focused on AI-driven automation, digital commerce, and next-generation products and services for American Express customers. She founded the digital payments practice with a team of two to launch American Express Cards in the mobile wallets and today oversees a suite of products driving daily customer engagement across millions of American Express Card Members globally. Lisa leads with an external perspective. As an emerging payments and technologies expert within the organization, she’s an advisor and educator across all levels of the company and provides insight on opportunities to American Express’s largest merchant partners.
Best Product Design Leader
The brains behind a product known for its seamless, engaging, and intuitive user experience
- Title: Co-founder and Head of Design
- Company: Deepnote
- About: Filip Stollar is Co-Founder and Head of Design at Deepnote, a collaborative notebook built for data science teams. His design and vision are at the heart of Deepnote’s technology and mission: to bring a seamless, collaborative experience to data science teams through a simplified and intuitive design interface. His understanding of his field stretches beyond the design realm and into software development as well, which allows him to envision the end-to-end design process in a way that levels up product development and workflow efficiencies while earning team confidence around his processes. Outside of Deepnote, Filip is the creator of the largest Figma presentation template directory and is the co-creator of the largest Notion template marketplace.
Best Product Influencer
Has a track record of building successful products and now makes it a priority to advance product thinking across industries
- Title: Founder and CEO
- Company: Product School
- About: Carlos is the CEO and founder of Product School, the global leader in product management training with a community of over one million product professionals. Product School’s certificates are the most industry-recognized credentials by employers hiring product managers. In the years since launching the Product School, Carlos has launched several complementary offerings for product managers including product management-related podcasts, awards, events, and books. In 2021, Carlos helped raise Product School’s Series A funding round to support the company’s growing customer and employee base.
Best Nonprofit Product Leader
Has helped a nonprofit organization launch a successful digital product
- Title: Head of Product, ZOE COVID Study
- Company: ZOE
- About: Christina Yida Hu is the Head of Product for the ZOE COVID Study at ZOE, a health science company using data-driven research to tackle the world’s health issues. By leading the ZOE COVID Symptom Study, Christina enables the public to collectively fight COVID-19 by contributing to vital scientific research. To do this, Christina developed AI models to predict local hotspots, which helped influence government policy and public health decisions and substantially supported the identification of participants for COVID vaccine trials, treatment studies and plasma donation initiatives. The largest longitudinal epidemiological study of its kind, the ZOE COVID app boasts over 4.7 million users and is ranked number 1 for Health & Fitness in the U.K. amongst people aged 45yrs+ (per App Annie’s State of Mobile 2022).
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