Zillow offer evaluation for TPM

EPAM Systems ajs78
Apr 16 16 Comments

Received an offer for Technical Product Manager position at Zillow in Irvine:
Base: 135k
Stock: 125k (4 years, after 1 year vests quarterly)
Sign in: 15k + 10k after one year

I’m a data engineer, 7ye, for last 3-4 years did teams coordination as well.
Offer seems low for me, what do you think folks?

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TOP 16 Comments
  • MobilityWare / Other
    NoMw75

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    Oh so talked to Hulu maybe five years ago and at the time their PM (non-Snr) base was around 135k with some equity and the belief the company would “take care of them” which is BS.

    The numbers you listed I’ve seen for Zillow but for engineers. As important as we think PM work is, engineering salary will always be higher. Doing the transition to PM from engineering WILL be a salary HIT. In general the PM salary is one level lower than Engineer salary. Keep in mind base at Amazon caps out at $160k so $180k base for PM would need to be like director level at most other companies.

    Sorry should have clarified what I mean by stock. So in general tech companies will issue options or stock grants it seems that more established companies will do stock grants and from experience I think stock grants are better as they will have value unless the stock goes to zero which would mean the company also goes to zero in which you have bigger problems :). Options when they go under water they are worthless of 4 places I’ve been I never had options pay out (maybe my bad luck with timing :)). I have had RSU and ESPP payoff well though.

    My comment on stock was just the overall price is low so hopefully they factored in the lower price when they calculated the stock price. You can ask what appreciation they expect in the stock. Amazon for instance likes to factor in 15% appreciation in their offers.

    But good luck with your interview! See what they are offering and you can use it as leverage.
    Apr 19 7
    • EPAM Systems ajs78
      OP
      Didn’t know about the laws. I always ask what is the budget for the position but in most cases HR/recruter don’t give an answer (some does though).
      Apr 20
    • MobilityWare / Other
      NoMw75

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      If the Hulu HQ location is good for you, you should also check out Ring (Amazon) and Amazon Alexa Mobile all also located in the Watergarden buildings they have a number of PM openings (they are moving soon down to Culver City). Also heard good things about Cornerstone OnDemand which is also there (haven’t checked them out though). Best of luck!
      Apr 22
    • EPAM Systems ajs78
      OP
      Hulu didn’t give the offer (which was unexpected for me) so accepting the one with Zillow. At least good to know that it seems like a fair one for OC and transition to PM.
      Thanks for all the suggestions.
      Apr 23
    • MobilityWare / Other
      NoMw75

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      Hulu can be picky maybe looking for PM previous experience and/or Media experience. Also with Disney having controlling interest now and the roll out of Disney+ it remains to be seen. There could be other things at work too.

      The advice for folks transitioning is to gain the experience first and then worry about TC later. You need the experience and that will make you more valuable later.

      That being said it doesn’t hurt to ask Zillow if they can sweeten the offer and asking for higher base, more sign-on and more RSUs. They’re likely not move on base but move on the other two. Then final counter is since base didn’t move push on sign-on and/or RSUs. Depending on how you feel the next two years will go you may value sign-on (cash is king) more or if more risk-loving then RSUs.

      Also SoCal is fairly small so if you’re a good PM with a good reputation you will be valuable. So after two years you have the experience and the cash (sign-on is finished) can look again. Or who knows you may really love it there too!

      Congrats!!!
      Apr 24
    • EPAM Systems ajs78
      OP
      Thanks again!

      For Hulu I’ve applied for Senior Data Engineer. When I asked about TPM role after interview they told me that they are looking for someone with real managerial experience as you’ve mentioned.
      Apr 24
  • MobilityWare / Other
    NoMw75

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    Congrats!

    Is it quarterly vest per year?

    So TC would be 135k+31.25k+25k for 191.25k for Y1, 166.25k for Y2, etc...

    No annual bonus?

    What type of package were you hoping for?

    Guess the wild card is stock/equity and what that will actually be.

    Base of $135k for OC for PM (non-Snr) I feel that’s not bad for the area. It would be higher in LA.

    From various posts it does seem that at least in Seattle Zillow does competitive pay against Amazon and Microsoft, don’t know if it translates to OC since the only top tier would be Google and Amazon for Irvine (at least in Amazon the pay is same between Seattle and Irvine and Google pay is higher for same level at Amazon). FB is in LA but all PM roles in Bay Area :(.

    Other post on blind on Zillow does seem there’s some negotiation in the area of RSUs and sign-on but seemed base they don’t like to move.

    Are you current PM or transitioning? Do you have a PM title? 135k maybe right for someone new to the role with relevant work experience for the area. Also Zillow stock has a good pull back so price maybe good right now :).

    For comparison Amazon L6 Sr PM (these guys are typical MBA grads transitioning into PM out of school) are around $200-$230 TC (base caps out at around $160, TC can be more based on stock appreciation, and those vesting are back loaded).

    So total comp is not too bad especially for OC/Irvine area (the risk is equity side) but the base plus sign-on are locked.

    Outside of Google and Amazon, pay is really not that high in general for OC/Irvine (this isn’t Bay Area or even Seattle for that matter). If you know of other good pay for PMs in the area please share :).

    FWIW I’ve read the WLB at Zillow is pretty great! :)

    Best of luck!

    Keep us posted what you end up doing! If you join may hit you up for a referral — lol

    Also add the Zillow tag and maybe get some more responses :).

    Also did you read this related post it has info about the Irvine office (comp is for SDE so not relevant though):
    Check out this post! "Zillow after 4 year cliff (Compensation)"
    https://us.teamblind.com/s/PKcx2qU5

    Also this old post for Sr PM Salaries at Zillow
    Check out this post! "Zillow Senior PM pay scales (Career)"
    https://us.teamblind.com/s/8yqzeze3

    Looks like the key with negotiation with Zillow is having a good competing offer and push for as much as you can get. They can be competitive with the other tech companies in the Seattle area so they should be able to match anything down here too. Good luck!
    Apr 18 1
    • EPAM Systems ajs78
      OP
      Thanks very much for the reply.
      Vesting - wait 1 year, after that every quarter.
      As I understood no annual bonus.
      I was hoping to get 180k base, at least 160k. And at least 150k rsu.
      I’m currently transitioning from senior data engineer, but have 4 years of experience leading tech teams of various size.
      Are you saying it makes sense to choose stocks instead of rsu these days?
      Saw the articles but thanks for sharing them!
      Sure, I’ll keep you posted guys, have another interview tomorrow at Hulu, let’s what they’ll offer (if any).
      In case I’ll end up in zillow I would love to give referral.
      Apr 18
  • MobilityWare / Other
    NoMw75

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    Mind sharing the interview exp w/ Hulu and Zillow? Curious how it’s structured and what they ask!

    TIA!
    Apr 24 3
    • EPAM Systems ajs78
      OP
      Sure.
      Zillow was a 3-4 hours interview with multiple people, folks were asking to describe data pipelines which I’ve already build, some behavioral questions like how you handle communication with difficult people, etc. From tech perspective all SQL questions were very simple for an experienced data engineer which is expected for this role.
      Hulu was full day interview with both engineers and managers, questions were mostly on data architecture and SQL. Again, I would say they were not hard but I ended up not getting an offer with them so maybe I was wrong somewhere.
      Apr 24
    • MobilityWare / Other
      NoMw75

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      Thanks for sharing! Curious — Is SQL being standard for PM interviews or is it because of your background?
      Apr 24
    • EPAM Systems ajs78
      OP
      It was standard because I was applying to TPM for team of data engineers and a lot of work would require to do data analysis. So SQL is a must have for this particular role.
      I would say in general for different TPM or Product manager positions I saw SQL in requirements. But as I said usually it’s enough to understand aggregations and joins for these roles.
      If you’re a data engineer this level of sql would be the easiest part of an interview.
      Apr 24
  • Square nqzX15
    Is that 125 over 4 years?
    Apr 17 1
    • EPAM Systems ajs78
      OP
      I think so, still didn’t get details. But most probably yes.
      Apr 17