The Software Report is pleased to announce The Top 25 Software Product Executives of 2023. Considered a hot job these days, the role of software product executive is expanding due to the growing importance of data-driven decision-making, a heightened emphasis on customer experience and design, and the evolution of software development methodologies. This is why some have started referring to the position as a "mini-CEO." Not unlike traditional CEOs, today's software product sexecutive needs to be multidisciplinary and work within the center of all activity. Only there can they achieve the ultimate goals of their title, which includes recognizing customer requirements and successfully launching products. Simultaneously, these executives fulfill the dual roles of being both the leader and the primary champion of the team responsible for transforming a company's ideas into groundbreaking products that have a global impact.
Some of the distinguished honorees on this year’s list include Adobe's Scott Belsky. As the company's Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Design & Emerging Products, Belsky is responsible for design across a large swathe of Adobe's businesses, while also leading investments, engagements, and acquisitions in the startup ecosystem. Additionally, veteran technology executive Prakash Ramamurthy is the Chief Product Officer at Freshworks, having previously helped grow the Oracle Cloud division into a multi-billion dollar business. Another prime example is Shane Luke is a product development expert and frequent guest speaker in the startup world, who currently holds two high-ranking positions at Workday: VP of Product and Engineering, and Head of Machine Learning and AI. Notably, Luke is not only an entrepreneur, but he's also previously held senior product leadership roles at places like Nike, where served as the Global Head of AI and Machine Learning within Nike’s Digital Innovation Group.
The individuals featured in this year's list have stood out by making significant contributions not only to their respective companies but also to the software industry as a whole. Their leadership abilities, professional expertise, and technological contributions were among the criteria used to evaluate each nominee. The winners were selected based on the feedback received through nominations, supplemented by extensive research into their career accomplishments. Please join us in celebrating The Top 25 Software Product Executives of 2023.
1. Scott Belsky
Title: Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Design & Emerging Products
Scott Belsky is the Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Design & Emerging Products of Adobe. He leads corporate strategy and development, is responsible for design across the Digital Media and Digital Experience businesses, and is driving incubation of some of Adobe’s fastest-growing emerging products. As Chief Strategy Officer, Belsky leads investments, engagements, and acquisitions in the startup ecosystem. He also works continuously to enhance design for all of Adobe’s products.
Prior to this role, Belsky was Adobe’s Chief Product Officer for five years. During this time, he led development of all Creative Cloud products. Prior to joining Adobe in December 2017, Belsky was a venture investor at Benchmark, which is based in San Francisco. Additionally, Belsky has been an advisor on design and product management for leading companies and institutions, including Pinterest, Uber, sweetgreen, Carta, Cheddar, Flexport, Airtable, OpenSea, Ramp, Ro, and Periscope.
Belsky holds a bachelor’s from Cornell University and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He serves on the advisory board of Cornell University’s Entrepreneurship Program; and the board of trustees for the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum.
2. David Schmaier
Title: President and Chief Product Officer
David Schmaier is the President and Chief Product Officer at Salesforce, where he is responsible for the company’s global product strategy and vision. Salesforce empowers companies –of any size and industry– to connect with their customers through the power of AI + data + CRM. With more than three decades of experience in enterprise software, CRM, and industry-specific verticals, Schmaier helps customers map and realize their visions for digital transformation.
Before his appointment in February 2021, Schmaier was the CEO for Salesforce Industries. Originally, he joined Salesforce through the company’s acquisition of Vlocity, where he was the Co-Founder and CEO from 2014 to 2020. Before founding Vlocity, Schmaier served as the EVP at Siebel Systems.
Away from his Salesforce duties, Schmaier serves as a Strategic Advisory Board Member for Genstar Capital. He is also a Cabinet Board Member for the John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at Harvard. He holds a BA in mechanical engineering from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
3. Shane Luke
Title: VP of Product & Engineering, and Head of AI & Machine Learning
Shane Luke is a product development expert and frequent guest speaker in the startup world. Currently, he holds two high-ranking positions at Workday: VP of Product and Engineering, and Head of Machine Learning and AI. His company, Workday, is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources, helping customers adapt and thrive in a changing world.
With many years of professional experience, Luke is also the Founder and CEO of the enterprise software company BlueMesh.com, which developed a solution for technology developers. Prior to founding BlueMesh, Luke was Chief Product Officer at Recon Instruments, where he led product strategy and execution. Luke has also held senior product leadership roles at Nike, most recently the Global Head of AI and Machine Learning within Nike’s Digital Innovation Group. Earlier, he worked at Electronic Arts, serving in product origination and management.
Luke graduated from Simon Fraser University with an MA in cognitive science, from University of Calgary with an undergraduate degree in astrophysics, and from The University of British Columbia with an undergraduate degree in physics.
4. Prakash Ramamurthy
Title: Chief Product Officer
Prakash Ramamurthy is the Chief Product Officer at Freshworks, leading strategy and vision for the company’s suite of customer and employee engagement products. A veteran technology executive, Ramamurthy boasts an extensive track record of building cloud-based services and leading high performing teams – for tech giants and tech startups.
Before Freshworks, Ramamurthy was senior vice president of product development and general manager at Oracle. During this time, he helped grow the Oracle Cloud division into a multi-billion dollar business with services deployed in over 18 regions worldwide. Previously, Ramamurthy was chief product and technology officer at LifeLock. While there, he helped propel the company through a successful IPO.
Away from Freshworks, Ramamurthy is an active board member of Kite.com; a standing operating partner at Trinity Ventures; and a strategic advisor for States Title. He also mentors several startup founders. He holds a MS in computer engineering from Boston University and a BE in computer science from the College of Engineering, Guindy in Chennai.
5. Kara Sprague
Title: Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer
Kara Sprague is the Executive Vice President and Chief Product Officer at F5, a leading multi-cloud application services and security company. In 2017 she joined F5 to lead the Application Delivery Controller business. Notably, F5 works with some of the world's largest and most advanced organizations, helping them optimize and secure their applications and APIs across various environments, including on-premises, cloud, and edge. F5's goal is to enable organizations to deliver exceptional digital experiences while staying ahead of evolving threats.
Before joining F5, Sprague spent 13 years at McKinsey & Company, where she held several leadership positions within their technology practice. During her time, she was responsible for overseeing the Technology, Media, and Telecom Practice for the Western Region. Earlier in her career, Sprague gained valuable experience working on the engineering staff of companies such as Oracle, Agilent Technologies, and Hewlett-Packard.
Sprague holds a master's in technology and electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She also earned an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.
6. Meredith Brown
Title: Chief Product Officer
Meredith Brown is the Chief Product Officer for Pantheon, where she is responsible for Pantheon’s product vision, strategy and design. Brown focuses on empowering marketing and development teams to take control of their websites, while giving them the agility to win in the dynamic world of digital marketing.
Pantheon is building the world’s best WebOps (Website Operations) Platform— one that empowers marketing and development teams to take control of their websites, while giving them the agility to win in the dynamic world of digital marketing. With Pantheon, marketers and developers deliver results by iterating quickly, learning, and experimenting with their websites in the same way they do with virtually every other tool in their martech and development stacks.
Prior to her current role at Pantheon, Brown was the SVP and GM of Salesforce Pardot, leading the business and helping to catapult the product to be a market-leading B2B Marketing Automation platform. Brown holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.
7. Varnit Suri
Title: Head of Product and General Manager
Varnit Suri has worked at ServiceNow since 2019. Today, as Head of Product and General Manager of the Legal Service Delivery BU, Suri is responsible for the growth and P&L of this business. Among his many responsibilities, Suri oversees product development, product management, growth strategy, marketing, product and GTM partnerships, customer success, pricing & packaging, M&A, and more. Prior to this role, he was Senior Director of Product Management. Among his milestones at the company, his team (PM, UX, Eng) was responsible for bringing the quality of ServiceNow to Microsoft Teams. This includes delivering ServiceNow's NLP and AI-powered chatbot, automation, and analytics all right in Microsoft Teams (and Office, Viva).
Previously, Suri was Strategy and Operations Leader of UberEats. There, he led an 8-person team to balance profitability with growth in the run-up to the IPO. Prior to joining UberEats, Suri spent four year with the consulting giant BCG, where he notably advised tech executives on GTM strategy, growth, M&A, pricing, and SaaS transformation. Suri holds an MBA from the NYU Stern School of Business. He also graduated from George Mason University with an MS in electrical engineering.
8. Chad Dunavant
Company: CSG International
Title: Chief Strategy and Product Officer
Chad Dunavant is Chief Strategy and Product Officer of CSG, where he is responsible for developing, communicating, executing, and sustaining corporate strategic initiatives. Prior to this role, Dunavant was CSG’s Senior Vice President and Global Head of Product Management, where he developed the strategy and direction for CSG’s products and services – ensuring that the company’s solutions met all needs of a global client base.
Headquartered in Greenwood Village, Colorado, CSG is a purpose-driven, high-growth SaaS platform company helping some of the world’s most recognizable brands solve their toughest business challenges. Founded by Neal Hansen as a division of First Data in 1982, the company is now a trusted partner to global companies that want to evolve to meet the demands of today’s digital economy, with future-ready solutions that drive exceptional customer experiences.
Dunavant has over 20 years of experience developing products for the communications services industry. He is a frequent author and speaker on best practices for driving profits in the digital era. Dunavant holds a BBS in finance and management information systems from Gonzaga University. He also received an MBA in international business from the University of Denver.
9. Matias di Tada
Title: Vice President of Product Engineering
Matias di Tada is the VP of Product Engineering at Avature, where he is responsible for driving and executing the technical product vision for his company. Di Tada joined Avature in 2007 as a software developer. In 2011, he began managing software development, providing technical and product specifications, planning product roadmaps, and collaborating with product management. From there, di Tada held the position of Software Architect and dictated how the product was built.
Avature is a highly configurable enterprise HCM SaaS platform for recruiting and talent management designed to support strategic HR programs. The company delivers its services from its private cloud, which is located in data centers in the US, Europe, and Asia. Notably, Avature maintains offices in Buenos Aires, London, Madrid, Melbourne, Munich, New York, Herndon (VA), Paris, and Shenzhen.
Earlier in his career, di Tada served as an assistant professor for a data structures and algorithms course at Universidad de Buenos Aires. Before joining Avature, he worked for MicroLas, designing and building articulated medical equipment – such as robotic arms for laser surgery. He graduated from the Instituto Tecnologico Philips Argentina with a degree in electromechanics. He then completed four years toward a MS in Systems Analysis from Universidad de Buenos Aires.
10. Andrew Pitre
Title: Executive Vice President of Products
Andrew Pitre began his professional career 18 years ago. Today, he is the Executive Vice President of Products at HubSpot. HubSpot is a leading CRM platform that provides software and support to help businesses grow better. Its platform includes marketing, sales, service, and website management products that start free and scale to meet its customers’ needs at any stage of growth.
Pitre first got his start in 2005 as an operations manager at WHUS Radio. From there, he went on to Fresh Press Media, before eventually rising to marketing executive at LEWIS PR, his most recent position prior to joining HubSpot. Pitre graduated from the University of Connecticut with an undergraduate degree in anthropology.
11. Adrian Benic
Title: Chief Product Officer
Adrian Benic joined Infobip in 2010 as a support engineer. After years of moving up the ranks, today he serves as the company’s Chief Product Officer. In his current position, he helps create Infobip's global product vision and strategy – steering its development through new technologies to address the constantly changing needs of enterprises and developers all over the world.
Infobip is a global leader in omnichannel engagement. Among its numerous offerings, the company provides a broad range of messaging channels, tools and solutions for advanced customer engagement, authentication and security. It helps its clients and partners overcome the complexity of consumer communications, grow their business, and enhance the customer experience. Over the last 15 years, Infobip has grown into an engineering powerhouse. With more than 3,700 professionals on the payroll, it maintains over 70 offices scattered across six continents.
12. Sara Sharpe
Title: Senior Vice President of Product of Management Suite
Sara Sharpe is the SVP of Product of Management Suite at Entrata. Founded in 2003, Entrata is the only comprehensive property management software provider with a single-login, open-access platform. The company offers a wide variety of online tools, including websites, mobile apps, payments, lease signing, accounting, and resident management. Currently, the platform serves more than 20,000 apartment communities nationwide.
Sharpe has over 15 years of experience in accounting and product management. She began her career as an AP Clerk at Medallion Hotels in 1997. Later she moved to Lincoln Property Company, where she worked as a Property Accountant. In 2005, Sharpe joined RealPage as a Senior Solution Consultant. She was with the company for three years before joining Intacct Corporation in 2008 as a Product Manager. Sharpe was with Intacct for four years before joining Entrata in 2012.
In terms of education, Sharpe holds a BS and MS in accounting from the University of North Texas. She is also certified from the Scrum Alliance as a Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO). Additionally, Sharpe is certified from NAHMA as a Certified Professional of Occupancy and from 8450 as a Certified Public Accountant.
13. Shashi Kumar Balu
Company: Aurigo Software
Title: Senior Director of Product Management
Shashi Kumar Balu is the Senior Director of Product Management for Aurigo Software. Balu oversees the product management teams at Aurigo and evangelizes the future of the company’s products. He also drives Aurigo’s product strategy, vision, and innovation. Balu has over 20 years of experience designing and deploying products to various public sector agencies. Notably, he has been with Aurigo since the company’s inception.
His company builds software that helps build the world. Aurigo provides modern, cloud-based solutions for capital infrastructure and private owners to help them plan with confidence, build with quality, and maintain their assets efficiently. With more than $300 billion of capital programs under management, Aurigo’s solutions are trusted by over 300 customers in transportation, water and utilities, healthcare, higher education, and government on over 40,000 projects across North America. Founded in 2003, Aurigo is a privately held U.S. corporation headquartered in Austin, Texas. It also maintains global offices in Canada and India.
Balu holds a bachelor’s in electronics and communications engineering. Additionally, he has completed a post-graduate program from Texas McCombs School of Business, specializing in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
14. Denis Antony
Title: Senior Vice President of Global Product Management
Denis Antony is the Senior Vice President of Global Product Management at Asite. He first joined the company in 2004 as a business analyst; and later took a leadership position in Product Management in early 2010.
Headquartered in London’s Tech City – and with regional ofﬁces in the US, the KSA, the UAE, Australia, China and India – Asite has been at the forefront of digital innovation. It boasts a strong reputation for providing collaborative digital solutions to some of the most challenging and complex capital projects worldwide.
Prior to Asite, Antony was a consultant with the German company Baeurer Infotech Ltd., implementing ERP solutions. In addition, he is a Chartered Accountant and University Gold medallist – with over 22 years of experience in the Manufacturing and Software Industries. During this time, he’s focused on managing the finance, accounts, and cost control portfolios for capital projects; while also developing and implementing all modules of ERP solutions.
15. Dennis Peng
Title: Vice President of Product Management
Dennis Peng is the Vice President of Product Management for Ooma. He also serves as a Technical Advisory Board Member for the company, where he is responsible for creating an intuitive, compelling user experience.
Headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, Ooma creates new communications experiences for small businesses and consumers. Its smart SaaS platform serves as a communications hub, which offers cloud-based telephony, home security, and other connected services. To date, Ooma has more than 1,000 employees and contractors.
Prior to joining Ooma, Peng worked at Cisco Systems for 11 years. He began his career at Cisco Systems as a customer support engineer. Later, he joined the Escalation Team, where he focused on fixing the most technically challenging problems, as well as supporting the design, rollout, and operations of the largest remote access and broadband aggregation networks worldwide. Peng holds BS and MS degrees in Electrical Engineering from Stanford University.
16. Benjamin Lentini
Title: Chief Product Officer
Benjamin Lentini is the Chief Product Officer of 7thOnline. Lentini joined the company in 2006 as a Director Of Retail Solutions. Since then, he has held various positions, including SVP of Global Planning Solutions & Operations; and Vice President of Planning Solutions.
Based in New York, NY, 7thonline is a leading data-driven SaaS solution, powered by analytics and ML/AI for Tier 1 retailers that specializes in merchandise planning and demand forecasting for global retailers and wholesale brands.
Prior to his tenure at 7thOnline, Lentini gained extensive experience in the retail industry. He started his career in 1994 as a Project Manager at Arthur Andersen. Later, he went on to hold roles such as Vice President General Merchandise Manager at Designs, Inc. He also served as the Chief Operating Officer for Belly Basics. In 2004, he became an Executive Project Manager at CGS. Two years later, he assumed the role of President at Camp AweSum, Inc. Lentini pursued his education at Rider University from 1977 to 1982, where he earned a BS in Management and Marketing.
17. Dritan Suljoti
Title: Co-Founder and Chief Product & Technology Officer
Dritan Suljoti is the Co-Founder and Chief Product and Technology Officer at Catchpoint. The company offers a web performance monitoring tool that many top online retailers, Global2000s, CDNs, cloud service providers, and xSPs around the globe rely on to increase their resilience – by catching any issues in the internet stack before they impact a business. Notably, the Catchpoint platform offers synthetics, RUM, performance optimization, high fidelity data, and flexible visualizations with advanced analytics
Before joining Catchpoint, Suljoti was in research and development at Google. Before that, he served as a director of research and development at DoubleClick. Suljoti graduated from Baruch College with an MBA. He also graduated from Berkeley College of New York City with an undergraduate degree in international business.
18. Loïc Besnard
Title: Global Head of Product Marketing & Product Strategy
Loïc Besnard is the Global Head of Product Marketing & Product Strategy at EasyVista. Until January 2017, Besnard served as Global Pre-Sales Director for the company. He’s been with the company for more than a decade, having joined EasyVista in 2009. In his current top role, he is responsible for the company’s worldwide pre-sales engineering strategy.
EasyVista is a leading IT software provider of end-to-end IT solutions. This includes service management, remote support, IT monitoring, and self-healing technologies. EasyVista helps over 3,000 companies around the world accelerate digital transformation, empower leaders to improve employee productivity, reduce operating costs, and increase employee and customer satisfaction across a wide range of industries.
With over 15 years of experience in the IT industry and international technical sales, Besnard supports EasyVista’s growth, international development, and technical sales operations. He graduated from Paris-Sud University (Paris XI).
19. Nadav Soferman
Title: Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer
Nadav Soferman is one of the founders and the Chief Product Officer of Cloudinary. As a CPO, Soferman is focused on the product management of the company’s image and video management service.
Cloudinary is headquartered in Santa Clara, California. It also has offices in Israel, England, Poland, and Singapore. The company is a SaaS that allows developers of any web or mobile application to manage all images and videos in the cloud: upload, manipulate, resize, crop, detect faces, apply effects, perform optimizations, fast CDN delivery, and a lot more.
Soferman's software development experience spans over 20 years, starting from a young age of 8 when he began writing code. Prior to his role at Cloudinary, he worked with Trivnet and Blue Security as a software developer. He then became the Director of R&D at Israeli-based Collactive. Additionally, he co-founded HostMonk, a company that provides impartial Web & Cloud hosting comparison services. Soferman holds an undergraduate degree in Computer Science from Tel Aviv University.
20. Michael Liberty
Title: Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer
Michael Liberty is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Signifyd. Signifyd provides an end-to-end commerce protection platform that leverages its commerce network to: maximize conversion, automate customer experience, and eliminate fraud and consumer abuse for retailers. While Signifyd is headquartered in San Jose, CA, it also has locations in Denver, New York, Mexico City, Belfast, and London.
Prior to his current role, Liberty was the Manager of New Ventures Risk at PayPal, where he led all fraud and risk management initiatives for Digital Goods (games, video, news, e-books) payment solutions – including launching the PayPal for Digital Goods product. From there, Liberty served as the Chief Operating Officer at GWC Warranty, co-leading a management reorganization and managing a 70-person team that included claims, analytics, technology, sales support, customer service, and contract processing functions. Liberty then worked as an Associate at CIVC Partners, evaluating and executing buyout, sale and recapitalization transactions.
Earlier in his career, Liberty was an analyst at JPMorgan; and a night analyst at Lazard. Liberty received his MBA from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and his AB in economics from the University of Chicago.
21. Stefanie Grossman
Title: Chief Product and Marketing Officer
Stefanie Grossman is the Chief Product and Marketing Officer at Prezi, a Hungarian web-based presentation software company. Since 2009, Prezi has been making virtual presentation tools that help people connect and collaborate more meaningfully. The company offers a freedom in movement, which enables "conversational presenting" – a presentation style in which presentations follow the flow of dialogue, instead of vice-versa.
Before joining Prezi, Grossman was a marketing director at popchips. Before that, she served as a senior manager of digital and social media at Revlon. Earlier in her career, she worked with Ernst & Young Strategic Advisory Services as a business analyst. Grossman graduated from The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth with an MBA. She also graduated from Duke University with an undergraduate degree in economics.
22. Jayesh Sahasi
Title: CTO and Executive Vice President of Product
Jayesh Sahasi is the CTO and EVP of Product at ON24. With more than 20 years of experience, Sahasi is a pioneer in the development of applications for streaming media over the internet. In his current CTO role, Sahasi is responsible for ON24′s overarching product vision, strategy, usability, and design. Among his numerous duties, he manages the development and execution of the product road map and supervises the Engineering team at ON24.
ON24 is on a mission to re-imagine how companies engage, understand and build relationships with their audience in a digital world. Through its leading sales and marketing platform for digital engagement, businesses use the company's portfolio of webinar, virtual event, and content experiences. This helps drive engagement and generate first-party data; and thus delivers revenue growth across the enterprise: from demand generation to customer success to partner enablement.
Sahasi is an active investor with the Band Of Angels, and a Mentor at Alchemist Accelerator, where his particular areas of investment expertise and interest include B2B, Enterprise, SaaS, AI/ML, MarTech, and Life Sciences. Sahasi has an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School of Business, a master’s in Artificial Intelligence, and a BS in Computer Science.
23. Dhruv Markandey
Title: SVP of Product, Growth & Success
Dhruv Markandey is the SVP of Product, Growth & Success at MindTickle, a market-leading sales readiness and operations platform. The company helps leaders at more than 350 world-class companies grow revenue by increasing knowledge, understanding ideal sales behaviors, and adapting to change. Markandey has played a big part in the company’s recent success. Having deep insight into opportunities and challenges across each stage of the sales process, he has helped grow the company and its customer base.
Prior to MindTickle, Markandey was a business analyst at HSBC, where he designed online retail and business banking solutions. In terms of education, he graduated from Army Institute Of Technology with an undergraduate degree in electronics and telecommunication.
24. Arnita Curtis
Company: Sprout Social
Title: Vice President of Product Management
Arnita Curtis is the Vice President of Product Management at Sprout Social. She first joined the company in 2016 as director of product management. Sprout Social is a global leader in social media management and analytics software. Sprout’s unified platform puts powerful social data into the hands of more than 30,000 brands so they can make strategic decisions that drive business growth and innovation. With a full suite of social media management solutions, Sprout offers comprehensive publishing and engagement functionality, customer care, connected and automated workflows, and AI-powered business intelligence.
Previously, Curtis worked in technology strategy and operations at Johnson & Johnson. Earlier in her career, she served at Morgan Stanley as a business analyst. Curtis holds an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management, an MS in systems engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and an undergraduate degree in computer engineering from Howard University.
25. Chris Sluty
Title: Chief Product Officer
Chris Sluty is the Chief Product Officer of FloQast. He first joined the company in 2013 as COO and head of customer success. FloQast delivers workflow automation software enabling organizations to operationalize accounting excellence. FloQast was built by accountants, for accountants to enhance the way accounting teams work. FloQast enables customers to streamline processes such as automated reconciliations, documentation requests, and other workflows that impact the month-end close, financial reporting, and payroll and is consistently rated #1 across all user review sites.
Previously, Sluty was a manager of financial services at Rothstein Kass. He earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Syracuse University - Martin J. Whitman School of Management.