The 321 Companies Employing Product Managers in Australia

26 Jun 2019 by Scott Middleton
The state of Product in Australia
The state of product in Australia

We’ve compiled a list of the top product companies in Australia by number of people in product management roles. We know product is growing in Australia, but we wanted to know who’s in the game at all, and who is leading in product roles. 

There is a lot of talk about a bigger, better product community and we wanted to help the talk by getting some hard data. We need metrics, right?

Here is a quick summary of the data:

  1. There are 321 Product Companies in Australia.
  2. These Product Companies employ 6,990 Product People

We’ve outlined our findings and method below. It would be great to hear your thoughts so we can make the data more useful – or get more useful data. So please, share your thoughts or feedback with us, or let us know if our method hasn’t pulled data for your company.

If you are looking for your next job in Product, you’ll now know who to keep your eye on.

The Top 10

And here you have it, the top ten companies in Australia by the number of product people in their ranks:

1Telstra682
2Westpac408
3Commonwealth Bank406
4ANZ345
5NBN Australia244
6Optus220
7BT Financial Group165
8Atlassian122
9Macquarie Group109
10AMP105

Observations

  1. It is interesting to see that the companies at the top of the list are Australia’s biggest financial institutions and big telcos. This makes sense given the size of these companies and their push towards becoming “digital first”. 
  2. I was surprised to see global tech behemoths Oracle, Microsoft and Ingram Micro near the top of the list. Traditionally, Australian operations have been a sales arm for these companies with true product work being performed elsewhere around the globe (e.g. Redmond and Silicon Valley). Oracle’s seems to be somewhat related to the Aconex acquisition but not 100% related.

Opinion

If you’d asked me before we’d compiled this list, I would have said that discussions about advancing the discipline of product in Australia should be led by the Canva’s, Atlassians and WiseTech’s of the world. Looking at this list has shifted my view. While I still feel that these companies, being product led, should lead the charge, the sheer weight of people practicing product in Australia says that, as a community, we must pay attention to the dynamics of product within large, complex, traditional companies if we really want to move forward together.

Method

The data for this list was compiled using the following method:

  1. We used ~800 LinkedIn connections (1st and 2nd level) to compile a list of companies.
  2. Using the list of companies to then obtain the number of product managers at each company. The search term used on LinkedIn was “Product Manager” at [Company] in Australia. The number of results for this search was then saved as the Number of Product People at that company.
  3. If you try to replicate you might get some variance with what we have due to LinkedIns search algorithms. Of some of the ones we sampled there was a variance in the results. We haven’t worried too much about definitive accuracy because we are trying to give a general indication of the market.
  4. We have merged some entities where there were multiples in LinkedIn, eg. Westpac, Westpac Group and Westpac Institutional Bank into just Westpac. Equifax and Equifax – Australia to Equifax. LexisNexis and LexisNexus Pacific to LexisNexis. News Corp and News Corp Australia to News Corp. Wolters Klewer Australia and Wolters Klewer to Wolters Klewer.

There are some problems with the method:

  1. Although our LinkedIn connections into Product Managers in Australia is arguably a good network, it is not a comprehensive network so companies are likely missing from the list.
  2. A sampling of the search results revealed that some of the people returned by the search for “Product Manager” were in slightly different roles, such as a Product Marketing Manager at Oracle. Given that the purpose of this exercise was to identify product companies in Australia, getting related roles could be considered a desired outcome rather than a problem.

Definitions

  1. Product Company: an organisation employing one or more person with “Product Manager” or something close to in their title.
  2. Product People or Product Person: Someone that is a product manager or mentions it in their LinkedIn profile. This definition was necessary because LinkedIn data is somewhat messy so we can’t say with certainty that everyone is definitely a “product manager”.

Where to next

We plan on iterating further with this. We really wanted to be guided by the community so please email lily@terem.com.au if you have more you’d like us to do. 

The roadmap we’ve created for ourselves is:

  1. Include analysis of the types of companies, such as by industry.
  2. Add other roles essential to product (e.g. software engineers, heads of product, product owners, product marketing managers)
  3. Understand more about these product people (e.g. analysis of role title)
  4. Do 6 month snapshots to understand movements over time.
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