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Director of Product Innovation - Content Recommendation And Promotion

  • Los Gatos, California
  • Product Management
The Role 
We’re looking for a Director of Product Innovation to lead our efforts to create the best video recommendation system in the world for our 130M+ global members. You would drive innovation leveraging advanced machine learning and statistical modeling techniques on massive data sets to address key problems such as:
• Ranking our catalog of content to best capture each member’s content tastes and preferences
• Leveraging diverse sources of data to “cold-start” relevant recommendations for new users from their first interaction
• Selecting relevant newly released content to promote to each member to maximize incremental engagement. Ensure that each new TV show or movie being added to the catalog finds its relevant audience quickly.
• Generate relevant rankings in multiple contexts : similarity to specific title in the catalog, in response to a particular search query, in response to current within-service and external trends etc.

In addition, the Director of Product Innovation is expected to be a high-leverage thought leader across multiple disciplines, influencing discussions on algorithms, metrics, and principled decision-making throughout the organization.

Who will be successful in this role?
You care deeply about the user experience, resulting in many clear hypotheses for potential improvements to our recommendation algorithms that you can naturally group into areas of opportunity. You will craft, communicate and execute a strategy to advance these areas, leveraging available data as much as possible to inform and explain your choices. You will lead cross-functional teams of software and research engineers, mathematicians, data scientists, and statisticians while partnering effectively with stakeholders from different parts of the company to bring your vision to life.

You are an expert in advanced mathematical modeling and analysis, particularly some combination of machine learning and statistics. You know these topics so deeply that you are well aware they are just tools to solve problems rather than being an end in themselves. You naturally gravitate towards experimentation as a way to validate your hypotheses while having a healthy skepticism when interpreting experimental results.
The Director of Product Innovation may come from a wide range of backgrounds: perhaps someone who has led algorithmic innovation for a successful software company, a statistician or econometrician with deep knowledge of causal models and machine learning or even a pragmatic academic with an interest in large “real world” algorithmic systems. Important for the role is the technical bent to work with world-class engineers, the statistical acumen to collaborate with top-notch data scientists and the business sense to drive product goals and strategies. Demonstrated ability to build successful consumer facing applications and algorithms, and a strong feel for movie/TV content are big pluses.


  • Proven history of intuition for generating great algorithmic ideas with demonstrated impact on business metrics through AB testing
  • Experience and demonstrated leadership working effectively with data scientists, machine learning engineers, statisticians etc. 
  • Ability to articulate (in presentations and documents) technical content to diverse non-technical audiences. 
  • Ability to partner with people from different parts of the company to ensure that your solutions drive real business impact. Strategic thinking and ability to incorporate larger business context into algorithm development.
  • 4+ years experience working on mathematical models to solve business problems
  • Post graduate education (MS or PhD)  in an applied quantitative field such as : Machine Learning, Statistics, Operations research, Information theory, Control theory, Econometrics etc

A couple of things worth knowing:

  • Though this is a senior role, you won’t have any direct reports. Instead you will have the freedom to focus on significant business impact while orchestrating the work of impressive teams.
  • Our culture is a bit unique, and we tend to live by our values, so it’s worth learning more about Netflix at