Director of Product - Hardlines :: Plymouth, MN

job description

Sleep Number’s mission is to improve lives by individualizing sleep experiences.  This role will lead the transformation of the Sleep Industry for our hardline categories.  Sleep Number is looking for a visionary, strategic and established product leader with a strong track record with consumer products.  This individual has the ability to anticipate macro consumer trends and integrate ideas into a dynamic product portfolio that impacts the lives of millions of people.


Product innovation is one of our three core growth strategies; it is what fuels our growth and it always starts with our customer.  We have a robust consumer research process to ensure we are providing superior sleep experiences for every individual.  And, as the leader in individualized comfort, we will continue to introduce consumer benefit driven products that solve customer’s sleep issues in our core products as well as future transformational categories.


Sleep Number is looking for a proven, results oriented, experienced leader— who can work closely with cross functional leaders from engineering, design, consumer insights, marketing, training, operations, IT, finance and executive teams to bring products to market in a meaningful way. A successful candidate will be highly analytical, able to work extremely effectively in a matrix organization, and adept at synthesizing a variety of technologies and capabilities into high quality, simple products and applications that customers love.


The Product Director of Hardlines will be charged with building an expansive product roadmap to meet the customer’s needs and improve upon Select Comfort's competitive position. These products should be highly innovative and need to deliver real consumer benefits creating an end result of aggressively broadening awareness and consideration.


The position combines feedback from consumer insights, competitive landscape, product development, R & D, field expertise and other constituents to define strategic vision, product lifecycles and the execution path supporting the company priorities.  In addition, this role will lead the hardline development and product brand commercialization, from cradle to grave activities of key product launches within the organization.


This role will oversee product lifecycles, including the following:

  • Product P&L responsibility: align pricing strategies and COGS to ensure that products are in line with overall company goals and financial objectives.
  • Strong knowledge of balanced portfolio innovation approach - ability to manage complex categories and interdependencies while bringing forth meaningful innovation
  • Evaluate and bring forth business opportunities, pricing, and go to market positioning
  • Exceptional competitive  trend and product analysis
  • Experience with and knowledgeable of consumer research and execution
  • Identify technology, trends and innovation opportunities
  • Product design - strong creative ability
  • Drive manufacturing and suppliers for innovative features
  • Resource planning and prioritization- drive product  brand  management and development resources and schedules: familiarity with a variety of the field's concepts, practices, and procedures
  • Drive new product release through org (sales, manufacturing, sourcing, legal, retail ops)
  • Lead holistic commercialization and bold execution

The skill-set/ background of the role will require the following:

  • Proven track record of bringing forth and executing iconic product introductions.
  • Relies on extensive experience and judgment to plan and accomplish goals. 
  • Strong cross functional leadership: demonstrated ability to engage teams and external partners to generate expected results.
  • A wide degree of creativity and latitude is expected.
  • The ideal candidate will have exceptional background in product strategy and development, project brand management and communications.


Principal Responsibilities:

  • Leadership of product brand management and product development activities for all hardlines products (mattresses, adjustable bases and fixed bases)
  • Performs customer needs assessments, competitor analysis to improve competitive position.
  • Analyze and recommend opportunities for new product development and innovation for the target customer: inclusive of projections for market share impact/ opportunity from new product introductions.
  • Serve as program manager for the development, brand management, integration and roll-out of major product innovations.
  • Leads end to end execution of product positioning and commercialization
  • Manage relationships with internal and external manufacturing partners of product projects.
  • Prepare, recommend and allocate financial resources for products/programs within forecasted guidelines and regulated expenditures.
  • Motivate, lead and champion the efforts of cross-functional teams on product definition, positioning development and commercialization.
  • Manage pricing and product integrity of product lines.
  • Provide leadership and manage product management staff. (4-6 employees)


Scope of supervisory/people development responsibilities

  • Product brand managers and product development managers for hardline platforms
  • Cross functional Team responsibility


Scope of P&L, budgetary or operational responsibilities:

  • P&L responsibility of beds: ability to execute and deliver financial goals supporting company goals
  • Provide leadership in preparing sales, gross margin, units, and or pricing forecast for the assigned areas of ownership
  • Assist in developing line budgets and ongoing management


Impact on external customers:

  • Assist in determining product portfolio inclusive of product messaging, pricing, packaging, promotion and marketing.


Key internal customers:

  • Responsible for cross-functional team leadership and direction


Key outputs to internal customers:

  • Provide product line strategy, direction, definition and leadership


Key inputs from internal suppliers:

  • Company vision and strategy: Cross-functional support of internal initiatives
  • Embrace, advocate and model company goals and beliefs.

job requirements

  • 10 years experience in product development, brand management: holistic in approach, positioning and definition, to concept and feasibility to commercialization
  • P&L responsibility
  • Preferred durable background with longer consideration phase products
  • Ability to identify how and where to compete with product line
  • Multiple company backgrounds (at least 2 in product management capacity)
  • Holistic product management experience
  • Bachelors Degree: MBA Preferred
  • Ability to solve problems with multiple variables in situation where minimal processes exist
  • Ability to inter-relate with multiple personality types and functional foundations
  • Ability to multi- task and manage many projects at the same time
  • Excellent oral and written skills
  • Normal physical exertion within an office environment
  • Limited travel required based on business needs's Advice

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