Lead Program Manager, Design

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What Airbnb is looking for in applicants

Airbnb is a mission-driven company dedicated to helping create a world where anyone can belong anywhere. It takes a unified team committed to our core values to achieve this goal. Airbnb's various functions embody the company's innovative spirit and our fast-moving team is committed to leading as a 21st century company.

Design Operations enables Airbnb’s Design group to run effectively to make products that are usable, lovable, and scalable for our users. Partnering closely with Design, Product Management, Engineering, and business leaders, we drive Airbnb’s priorities through seamless day-to-day operations and strong stakeholder alignment, with an eye towards scale and efficiency. 


The Design Program Managers on this team lead the end-to-end planning, execution, and budgeting of programs to deliver success for our product, hosts, and guests. With a strong appreciation for the practice and process of design, you understand the multiple disciplines that go into a successful product. You bring creativity to the operational aspects of a design team and deal with solving the “how,” freeing up your design lead peers to focus on crafting the “what.”


You anticipate how decisions are made, persistently explore and uncover new ways of doing things, and work collaboratively with stakeholders. You have demonstrated strong performance in your prior roles; you thrive in ambiguity and demonstrate problem-solving leadership with limited oversight.


As a Lead Design Program Manager (DPM), you partner with our Design Managers and/or Directors(s) and cross-functional leaders to drive delivery of quarterly and annual roadmap objectives and ensure that what we promise in our roadmap is what we deliver in our product. You will drive tight alignment of activities across teams through cross-functional planning and strong communication. 


In this role, you oversee program management and operations of a business unit and are responsible for the operating rhythm within your team and will lead the end-to-end scoping, planning, execution, and launch of design programs to deliver success for our product, hosts, and guests. You will also serve as the bridge between critical business functions, aligning stakeholders, providing visibility into the workstreams progress, elevating risks, and shepherding the team through the process of bringing our work to life. You will partner closely with the Director of Design Ops to provide insight on program progress and raise any red flags that could affect delivery. 


  • Drive consistency and harmony in our Hosting Design org team operating rhythm, including communication structures, project templates, leadership cadence, resource utilization, headcount, and budget management.
  • Initiate and run projects across multiple simultaneous projects that significantly improve the Design org’s operations and create cohesion across Design disciplines.
  • Optimize interaction models between Product, Engineering, Design, Creative, and Marketing, influencing cross-functionally to identify opportunity, unlock productivity, and accelerate execution.
  • Drives continuous improvement using data from teams to celebrate successes as well as identify ways to improve.
  • Identify and predict obstacles, collisions, and risk to projects across multiple teams and seek solutions to eliminate them.
  • Inspire, develop, and challenge the Airbnb's Design Program Management team, modeling excellence. 
  • Build a following: attract and nurture the best talent.


  • BA/BS with 12+ years Consulting, Program Management, Product Management, Project Management or relevant experience
  • Demonstrated ability to work through ambiguity to detailed solutions. You can take a vague problem, crisply frame the challenge, identify a path forward, and drive an initiative over the finish-line.
  • Track record of managing and shipping impactful design initiatives in a large digital product org
  • Long-term strategic thinking balanced with near-term execution skills. Distinctive problem solving skills
  • Proven ability to build strong relationships and influence business leaders
  • Demonstrable leadership skills and experience in mediation, negotiation, and conflict resolution 
  • Demonstrated track record successfully managing ambitious and operationally complex projects with cross-functional teams
  • Experience in structuring and implementing initiatives at scale with design and product teams
  • Background in establishing systems: experience developing process where little exists, and demonstrated flexibility to get things done.
  • Passionate and enthusiastic about organizational excellence and attention to detail
  • Thrives in ambiguity in a fast-paced, hyper-growth organization

Preferred Qualifications

  • Deep knowledge of and appreciation for the Product Design process
  • Experience with or understanding of cross-functional (Design, Product Management, Product Marketing, Engineering) product-driven organizations or digital agency

Want some tips on how to get an interview at Airbnb?

What is Airbnb looking for?
If this role looks interesting to you, a great first step is to understand what excites you about the team, product or mission. Take your time thinking about this and then tell the team! Get in touch and communicate that passion.
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