CPO/Head of Online Product
CPO/Head of Online Product
Ace & Tate is a young startup that has turned the world of eyewear upside down. The average age at Ace & Tate is 28 years old, with half of the employees wearing glasses. Everyone has the intrinsic motivation to make the brand a bit better every day. Everything else comes second. At least until now. Auke Bijnsdorp (Managing Partner Top of Minds): “Ace & Tate is at that stage where a young entrepreneur takes a look at his company and realizes, “Wow, this is going great” and wonders about how to prepare for the future at the same time.”
How it all started
In 2013, Mark de Lange (Founder and CEO of Ace & Tate) was visiting New York and bought a nice frame for his glasses. His plan was to have lenses placed in the frame once he got back to the Netherlands. “Well, that turned out to be easier said than done. I also felt it was weird that I owned thirty pairs of sneakers and only one pair of glasses. Even though glasses are the most in our face of all apparel.” Ace & Tate’s mission is to make it possible to change eyewear and sunglasses as often as changing sneakers, without compromising on style or quality. The principle of being able to choose when to wear which glasses, directly translates to the idea that a pair of glasses should not cost you more than € 100. De Lange: “With all due respect [Mark puts his glasses on the table], but this is just plastic. It’s high quality, but it’s not an amazing, innovative product. Why should it be so expensive?” Ace & Tate ensures that the price stays low, by removing a number of intermediaries from the supply chain. The company works together with four different suppliers in Italy, and they handle the design themselves.
Working at Ace & Tate
There are currently 60 professionals working at the Ace & Tate head office in Amsterdam. Every month new people are joining. Mark de Lange (cofounder and CEO): “I went from just a guy with a webshop, to the owner of an enterprise. The good thing is that I’ve got a great team that is able to take over certain management tasks from me.” The management team currently consists of cofounder and CMO Camiel de Lange van Bergen, CFO Roderick Kasteel and COO Koen Bremer (former consultant for the Boston Consulting Group). Ace & Tate is first and foremost an online company. It might seem strange for a company focusing heavily on online service not to have a CPO on the Management Team. However, a spot is already reserved for a future, strategic, social and commercially focused CPO. They will be given the chance to prove themselves as the Head of Online Product and, when successful, grow into the role of CPO.
Job opening for CPO/Head of Online Product
De CPO/Head of Online Product has a central position within Ace & Tate. This person makes sure that the online product (the website) is taken into consideration at every step the company takes. The goal is to create a seamless omni-channel experience for every customer worldwide. The CPO/Head of Online Product manages the Online Product Team. At the same time, they are responsible for setting up said team. At the moment the team consists of a Lead Developer, five Developers, two Digital Designers and a Growth Hacker. At the end of 2016 it is expected that the team doubles in size. The CPO/Head of Online Product is responsible for ensuring that the team members are doing what they do best and that they can carry out their work in a structured manner. The CPO/Head of Online Product is also required to discover the areas where improvements can be made and what the most efficient way to work will be once they have doubled in size. Or tripled. How should all of that be organized? Camiel de Lange van Bergen (CMO):
“Based on my experience at Rocket Internet and Facebook, I know that online organization such as ours, usually work in Product Teams. That’s what we are aiming for as well. A team tasked with increasing the conversion rate, a team tasked with optimizing the user experience and a team responsible for the mobile website. How to get there is completely up to the CPO/Head of Online Product.“
The CPO/Head of Online Product will be end responsible for the Ace & Tate website. The challenge lies in increasing the conversion rate via this platform, and integrating the mobile website with the desktop version. Without being too intrusive and whilst staying true to the brand identity. The customer journey is another area that could be further improved. Camiel de Lange van Bergen:
“The mobile website is often used to get inspiration instead of actually placing an order.”
The CPO/Head of Online Product will be responsible for developing the online strategy and managing the team during the implementation of that strategy. They are an experienced, mature professional, who is able to see the bigger picture, and can clearly prioritize what needs to be done first. All of this whilst being in a rapidly evolving environment. The company showing growth on all fronts, therefore it’s vital that their most important product – the website – is able to handle that growth, and evolve to the next level, together with the rest of the business.