Executive Director, Product Design
New York City +1
Mid-level · Full time
Posted 4 months ago

About the role


The New York Times is looking for an Executive Design Director for Games to support its growing and expanding Games subscription business.


As the Executive Director, you will oversee a team of product designers responsible for ensuring seamless, reliable, cross-platform gameplay and the systems that promote it, such as our puzzle editing tools and the front-end design system that unifies our web and native app experiences. This includes discovery, gameplay, and habituation with The Times's portfolio of games — the newly-acquired Wordle, our digital Crosswords, the popular Spelling Bee word game, expansion games like Tiles and Vertex, and new games that we continue to develop and create. 


To do this, you'll help the team develop collaborative, productive relationships with product, engineering, project, and data partners. You'll grow and nurture a diverse team of product designers who provide great work. You'll help build a culture of excellence, inclusivity and learning in Games, consistent with the values of The Times.


You'll be a member of the Games Leads team, helping translate strategy to operation by directly shaping our creative processes on the team. You will work with partners, game designers, and the product design team to prioritize work with the greatest impact for our users and our business. And, as someone in the product design function at The Times, you will inspire and motivate the designers on your team.


The Games team is based in our Long Island City, NY office. The Times is in the process of transitioning to hybrid work and we plan to speak with all candidates about where they're based and how they work in a hybrid environment. We are open to remote candidates.


Why should you apply?


This is a rare opportunity to shape a product that people love. The New York Times Crossword is a unique brand, with a 76-year history and regarded as one of the pre-eminent puzzles on the planet. In the last few years, we have expanded our offering into new puzzle games, most recently with our acquisition of Wordle in January 2022.



  • Establish, and be accountable for, the product design process that leads to shipping impactful, high-quality work.

  • Co-create the conditions for successful collaboration between product and game designers to bring new concepts and games to market.

  • Determine roles, hire, and onboard a diverse and curious team of product designers who will help the Games team grow and meet its goals.

  • Foster a culture of inclusivity, learning, and improvement.

  • Manage a team of product designers, including 1:1s, career development, and performance management.

  • Work with Data and Audience Insights teams to ensure attitudinal and behavioral insights are central to your teams' work and process.

  • Create written (and sometimes visual) artifacts that communicate your ideas and clarify the path ahead.

  • As a member of Games Leads, translate strategy into the work at the squad level. Provide connective tissue between functions and squads. 


Basic Qualifications

Product design leaders at The Times exemplify our values of curiosity, inclusivity, intentionality, and supportiveness. Additionally, we are looking for the following types of experience for this role:

  • Record of shipping excellent UX with impact, in a managerial capacity.

  • Fluent with UX design principles and how they guide users' emotions and behaviors.

  • Experience striking a productive balance between exploration and execution on a product design team, in an agile environment.

  • Comfortable with design and prototyping tools; express product design ideas in a visual and verbal manner, as the situation dictates, to align teams and partners.

  • Proficient in SaaS-based collaboration tools, including G-Suite, JIRA, Miro, and more.

  • Hire and retain diverse teams of designers and foster an inclusive culture where designers can do their best work.

  • Make decisions with urgency.

  • Last, but not least, a passion for games and puzzles, a passion for the New York Times's mission and commitment to be a part of our innovation and growth.


Perks & Benefits

  • Competitive health, dental, vision, and life insurance for employees and their families

  • Responsible retirement planning with a generous 401(k) company match

  • Competitive parental leave

  • Ongoing career development with $2,000 a year for conferences and $8,000 a year for tuition reimbursement

  • Frequent panel discussions and talks by a wide variety of newsmakers and industry leaders

  • A community committed to the richness of diversity, experiences, and talents in the world we cover, supported by a variety of employee resource groups

The New York Times
The New York Times creates, collects, and distributes news, information, and entertainment through a daily newspaper and a website.
Size:  1001-5000 employees
Funding Level:  Public
Year Founded:  1851
Carlos Slim
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