Coronavirus Update: Our team is here to help our clients and readers navigate these difficult times. Visit our Resources page now »

Skip to Main Content

Home Explore Careers

Product Management Directors

History

The field of product management started to form in the early 20th century. Many cite 1931 as a pivotal year in the history of this profession. This was when Neil McElroy of Procter & Gamble wrote an internal memo recommending that more people be hired to work specifically on managing the product, advertising, and promotions. His idea for "brand men" became a foundation for the job of product management.

By the 1970s, the product management and development field had grown to the point where professional associations were established to provide standards and guidance for the industry. One example is the Product Development and Management Association, which was founded in 1976 as a non-profit professional society. Today it provides education and certification programs, training, research and publications, among other resources, and has a worldwide membership.

Since the 1990s, the growth of computers, the Internet, and social media has contributed to the current global marketplace. The role of product management directors has taken on greater importance as companies compete to bring existing as well as new products to consumers. 

Related Professions
Featured Companies