Returning Candidate?

Product Director

Product Director

Job ID 
Position Type 
UK-London, Finchley (Global Headquarters)
Product Management

More information about this job





LACOSTE is above all a legend


The legend of a fantastic tennis player, René Lacoste, a member of the famous French "Musketeers" Davis Cup Team and a star of the courts at Wimbledon, Forest Hills and Roland Garros.


The true story of "the Crocodile" dates back to 1927. René Lacoste liked to recount how this nickname came about and ultimately became a brand of worldwide renown.


“I was nicknamed "the Crocodile" by the American press, after I made a bet with the captain of the French Davis Cup Team. The public must have been fond of this nickname which conveyed the tenacity I displayed on the tennis courts, never letting go of my prey.”


In 1933, René Lacoste founded a company to manufacture the perfect tennis shirt. The original “1212” pique polo shirt featured the now legendary embroidered crocodile on the left breast - Lacoste was born and revolutionised sportswear and branding within sport.


Pentland is the name behind some of the world’s best sports, outdoor and fashion brands.


We own Berghaus, Canterbury of New Zealand, Speedo, Boxfresh, Ellesse, KangaROOS, Mitre, Prostar and Red or Dead. We are also the global licensee for Lacoste Chaussures and Ted Baker footwear, the UK licensee for Kickers, and are shareholders in other companies such as Hunter, Butterfly Twists, Heidi Klein and Tracksmith.


We’re a third-generation, family-owned business – and we retain strong family values. We care about people, and that’s what drives our day-to-day work. This year the Great Place to Work® Institute recognised Pentland Brands the 11th Best Workplace in the UK and the 16th Best Workplace in Europe. Our global headquarters is in the UK and we employ 2,000 people across 20 countries around the world.


We believe that doing business the right way, with respect for people and the environment, is essential for ensuring our long-term sustainability - generation after generation. The Pentland values are at the heart of what we do and how we interact with the world around us.


In 1991 Pentland became the worldwide licensee for Lacoste footwear and in 2018 the two will come together to leverage the global reach of both brands for the growth of this iconic brand.


The JV aims to be renowned for its premium quality and innovative footwear, with an emphasis on sports-influenced styles.


Key Purpose of the Role:


Leading a sizeable team through a period of transformational change, they will have overall responsibility for the creation and delivery of world-class product propositions that deepen the relationship of our Lacoste footwear with the consumer. 


Working as a key member of the Lacoste Senior Leadership team, the Product Lead will play a critical role in establishing the footwear strategy and in leading the product team through transformational change, ensuring the teams are given excellent direction that drives performance. 


The core focus of the role is to lead, develop, implement and deliver a product strategy that ensures that the Lacoste footwear propositions remain commercially strong and true to the brand identity and DNA. 


They will be the expert in translating brand strategy into consumer-led, desirable, commercially sound & creative product ranges, you will drive the strategic direction for category management & product design delivering sales and margin growth in-line with the brand’s commercial and financial plans.  Responsible for design & category management resource & for building functional capability.



  • Proactively input and challenge the building of brand strategy with from a product perspective.
  • Translate brand strategy into product category & design direction, strategy, range plans and product DNA that deliver the brands growth objectives.
  • Work in partnership with the Lacoste brand to define, agree and execute global product distribution strategies & relevant range architecture that maximises market opportunities.
  • Define and agree product and range KPIs across all categories appropriate to delivering the brand strategy. 
  • Accountable for leading the planning and delivery of ranges that meet these targets and business growth expectations with the appropriate commercial hurdles in the place.
  • Build a clear view of the global product category dynamics. Use insights and data to identify the opportunities, threats and efficiencies, deploying resource to deliver brand growth and productivity goals.
  • Give direction and support to the Head of Category & their Planning & Analysis team to ensure they delivers insights that feeds into and challenges the development of product ranges
  • Give direction & support to the Head of Design & their design team to achieve range objectives and establish visual brand identity appropriate to the brand strategy
  • Ensure NPD and innovation drives relevant category disruption aligned to the brand & product strategies. 
  • Ensure effective seasonal processes are established & improve feedback loop between externally facing functions and the JV product team.
  • Work with the Lacoste Paris team to gain sign off on all products in line with brand strategies & seasonal critical milestones.
  • Set the appropriate resource focus across the brand’s priority markets, balancing the needs for an efficient global range with the specific, local needs required to drive growth in priority markets.
  • Ensure the product team resource is deployed in the most efficient and effective way to deliver the defined brand growth priorities.
  • Develop, mobilise and equip the product and design teams with the necessary skills to succeed.
  • Gives leadership to the product marketing resource within the JV team establishing close working relationships & processes with the Lacoste Paris marketing function.
  • Owns the delivery of seasonal launches in collaboration with the Lacoste Paris marketing function.
  • Owns the product P&L and the creation & delivery of all product KPIS.


Needs to have

  • High level of commercial acumen with proven experience of budget management, P&L accountability and optimising range profitability.
  • Experience of (working with insights functions) utilising research, data and insights to build commercially advantageous product ranges that generate growth.
  • Experience of matrix working and stakeholder management in a complex business
  • Experience of operating in varied business models (licensed, distributer, wholesale, retail) with an ability to understand and execute consumer initiatives through these routes-to-market.
  • Strong leadership skills with significant experience and skill in people management and team development.
  • In-depth understanding of product lifecycle management ((concept-to-consumer) and capable of using this to continuously improve the to drive efficiency, agility and speed to market gains.
  • Ability to use creativity to build commercial success 

Needs to be

  • A leader with integrity; able to inspire confidence and deliver in a way that is true to Pentland Brand’s principles.
  • Situationally adaptive.  Curious (open minded) but decisive (drives to action) while able to switch from broad, strategic thinking to operational pragmatism.
  • Great communicator with an ability to turn complex strategy into clear simple, actionable plans.
  • Able to integrate, operate and influence inside and outside the business, building relationships and trust across business levels and diverse cultures and markets.
  • Strong at problem solving, bold and resilient in decision making
  • Objective and decisive; able to identify truly value-driving initiatives among a wide range of opportunities, then driving action to deliver that value