Head Of Program Management & Product Operations

Smartnews San Francisco , CA 94105

Posted 2 weeks ago

Founded in Tokyo in 2012, SmartNews has quickly become the go-to source of news for over 20 million people around the world, and a leading news aggregation mobile app. Our mission is bigger than simply aggregating news, and we are working to break through the filter bubble and deliver the worlds quality information to the people who need it.

We are seeking a Head of Program Management & Product Operations to lead the Global Product Operations (GPO) team. This person is responsible for establishing the product operations function at SmartNews, crafting the GPO strategy, and leading the GPO team to directly impact SmartNews product and company organizational growth. At SmartNews, the Global Product Operations teams primary mandate is to drive operational leverage and enablement for the global product organization through managing the end-to-end product development process that enables the product teams to scale, transform, and execute. In short, this person is leading and shaping the culture of how we develop products at SmartNews.

The ideal candidate enjoys all aspects of product planning, and thrives in brass-tacks project execution where no job is too big or too small to tackle. This person is both detail-oriented and strategic-minded and someone who can be a change agent to drive the companys growth at a global scale and build processes to support a culture of execution, transparency, collaboration, and innovation at every step. This person will report to the SVP of Product and will lead a small and mighty team of "get-it-done" program managers. Join us and make a difference!


  • Define the product operations, lifecycle, and processes that enable the product and engineering teams to develop products that deliver value to the business
  • Partner and collaborate with product, design, engineering, business, and corporate planning teams to build agile product development processes and transparent communications
  • Coordinate and facilitate planning between product and engineering teams to align product strategies, business objectives, OKRs and resources
  • Manage the company roadmap and identify execution risks, roadmap dependencies, and critical path items between different product teams
  • Establish efficient product communications channels and processes to inform stakeholders at all levels
  • Develop programs enabling cross-functional teams to communicate expectations, project roles, status updates, and gather feedback (including schedules, milestones, metrics, risks, and issues)
  • Create and support Product Division team activities that foster stronger communication, collaboration, product understanding, and team alignment such as Product Division all-hands, onboarding programs, and offsites
  • Establish the strategic direction for the product operations function and lead a global team of program managers to meet the product divisions needs
  • Own, champion, evangelize, and drive product development change processes throughout the company


  • 8+ years of experience in product development operations managing technology projects, ideally with mobile B2C companies
  • 3+ years of experience managing a team
  • Bachelor or Masters in a technical or business degree, and/or equivalent work experience
  • Experience conducting product planning and building product roadmaps with OKR and KPI targets across multiple teams
  • Experience leading and managing product lifecycle and agile software development processes
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment managing changing priorities across multiple international time zones
  • Exceptional organization and communication skills
  • Proven track record of project and program execution
  • Strong knowledge of project management and documentation tools such as Jira, Notion, Google Suite (Google Docs, Calendar, Spreadsheets and Slides), and other industry tools of the trade
  • Ability to stay focused on big picture, perform multiple tasks and prioritize competing responsibilities based on workload and management directives
  • Ability to communicate effectively with both business and engineering staff, as well as domestic and international teams and stakeholders

Nice to Haves

  • Japanese language skills
  • Certification: PgMP (Program Management Professional), CAPM (Certified Associate in Project Management), PMP (Project Management Professional), CSM (Certified Scrum Master) preferred
  • Former management consulting experience


  • Equity included
  • 100% medical, dental and vision insurance coverage (60% coverage for dependents)
  • Monthly housing, commute, mobile phone and gym allowances
  • 401k matching program
  • Free lunch, snacks, drinks, etc.
  • Pet friendly office
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Head Of Program Management & Product Operations