What do you make of the 'Head of' job title at Google?

Google carlsjr
Jul 29, 2018 28 Comments

Is 'Head of XXX' even an official job title? I came across a couple of folks whose had listed their previous job titles at Google as follows:

-Head of Corporate Sales
-Head of Territory Sales
-Head of Strategic Industry Partnerships
-Head of Sales Ops
-Head of Business Services

What levels are these roles? Are they >L6 with a few direct reports? Or are they made up job titles just to overinflate the importance of the position?

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TOP 28 Comments
  • New / Mktg
    Mojoman

    New Mktg

    BIO
    Product Marketer in BI, analytics, enterprise SW
    Mojomanmore
    Any “Head of” title any company is a bullshit title. Are you a director? Senior director? Do you manage people? Nobody knows. One thing that is certain is that they have deliberately made it unclear so that they have the flexibility to promote you to whatever level they want afterwards.
    Jul 29, 2018 7
    • Google burnaaaa
      But on the other hand I think it does unambiguously say the person is in charge of that thing and it’s probably important enough to call out. Never personally seen that in eng though.
      Jul 29, 2018
    • Facebook Mixitup
      At Facebook, roles are named “head of” when it can be m2 or director. Makes it easier for hiring.
      Jul 29, 2018
    • Google / Ops Huhf13
      Don't assume "not a director" at Google. Numerous GBO types do this at L8 + and o know of a tech L9 who has this on their team's page
      Jul 29, 2018
    • Facebook Mixitup
      What is gbo?
      Jul 29, 2018
    • Google burnaaaa
      I think then it’s, “Director, Head of <blah>” or “Distinguished Software Engineer, Lead for <foo>”
      Jul 29, 2018
  • Pure Storage orangeg769
    At previous companies, the Head Of title was generally for someone whose expertise and contribution was broader than a director/sr dir role but not quite VP. These titles can be bullshit, but in the digital web and design realms they are very common.
    Jul 29, 2018 0
  • Check Point / Sales knKA34
    Tech industry is moving in this direction with this type of title. Its coming up all over now. Its a way of avoiding Director or Vp titles and corresponding pay scales.
    Jul 29, 2018 1
    • New / Mktg
      Mojoman

      New Mktg

      BIO
      Product Marketer in BI, analytics, enterprise SW
      Mojomanmore
      You’re absolutely right checkpoint. Start ups especially give this useless title to younger millennial‘s who are more than happy with a “head of“ title even though the pay scale they are receiving is only equivalent to a senior product manager
      Jul 29, 2018
  • Microsoft Samba!
    Is principal pm bullshit too or different?
    Jul 29, 2018 3
    • New / Mktg
      Mojoman

      New Mktg

      BIO
      Product Marketer in BI, analytics, enterprise SW
      Mojomanmore
      Principal is one level above senior. The next step after principal is director
      Jul 29, 2018
    • Google / Ops Huhf13
      Not at Google. There is no principal PM. There is Group PM
      Jul 29, 2018
    • Microsoft Samba!
      So senior pm -> group pm -> director?
      Jul 30, 2018
  • eBay YAgV34
    At ebay head of is usually 1 grade below director
    Jul 29, 2018 0
  • they're L6 or L7. it's just middle management. some orgs use it to say you manage other managers, or just are running a micro PA. either way, mostly an ego booster even if the title comes from director
    Jul 29, 2018 0
  • Facebook / Product OnTheFly
    I am not a fan of “Head of” titles. They mean different things at different companies. Why don’t companies just use simple, hierarchical titles to expose the right level for the company?! I am tired of levels being obfuscated behind titles.
    Jul 29, 2018 2
    • Facebook Mixitup
      Like how directors can be D1, D2, or D3? Or eng managers can be M0,M1, or M2? Or swe can be IC 3-7?
      Jul 29, 2018
    • Facebook / Product OnTheFly
      Yes and it’s particularly difficult if you are on the top or bottom of that range, because you are indistinguishable from everyone else who has that same title. A title of SWE, Product Manager, Product Marketing Manager, Client Solutions Manager, etc is the exact same title if you were an IC3 or an IC7/M2. It’s across the org. When you get peer reviews / other feedback, the person giving it to you does not have a clue if their expectations are too harsh for your level or too naive because the other person isn’t experienced enough to provide more. This is done to “flatten” the org, but I think it’s crippling people’s sense of worth over time and appropriate recognition.
      Jul 31, 2018
  • Yahoo Lord Vader
    I've seen a bunch of low level managers using Head Of... Titles.. For me it always translates to 'Asshole trying to sound more important than he/she really is".
    Jul 29, 2018 0
  • Microsoft Samba!
    What is l65 maps to (Msft)?
    Jul 30, 2018 2
    • Google / Ops Huhf13
      L6
      Jul 31, 2018
    • Microsoft Samba!
      Thx!!
      Aug 1, 2018
  • Google / Ops Huhf13
    A lot of Google L7s use this because there is no unique title for L7s on management ladders. Senior Manager is ambiguous and you could have several levels of manager working for you.

    L7 at Google is like M2 at FB or sr Director at MS or Salesforce, so it's s bit weird
    Jul 29, 2018 2
    • Microsoft Samba!
      So L7 at goog like L7 at Amazon basically ?
      Jul 30, 2018
    • Google / Ops Huhf13
      Except you get paid more at Google
      Jul 31, 2018
  • Intuit LMn0b41
    I’ve seen LinkedIn profiles where it was listed: “Director of X” when really the person was “Director of X Y”, a subdivision of X.

    I suppose if you make it to that level, sounding bigger than you really are and showmanship become things more likely to be prized.
    Jul 29, 2018 0