Category Product Manager

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Date: Mar 17, 2023

Location: Sassenheim, NL

Company: AkzoNobel

We’ve been pioneering a world of possibilities to bring surfaces to life for well over 200 years. As experts in making coatings, there’s a good chance you’re only ever a few meters away from one of our products. Our world class portfolio of brands – including Dulux, International, Sikkens and Interpon – is trusted by customers around the globe. We’re active in more than 150 countries and have set our sights on becoming the global industry leader. It’s what you’d expect from the most sustainable paints company, which has been inventing the future for more than two centuries.

In short

As a Category Product Manager, you will be responsible for managing and strengthening our segment product portfolio for our Vehicle Refinishes Market looking at the Primer Category globally, in line with our segment strategy and market trends. You will ensure that our product group meets customer needs, support the development of new or replacement products, and manage their successful launch into the market. You will also manage the withdrawal of unwanted or obsolete products, and proactively seek portfolio harmonization opportunities across regions.

As the focal point of product management, you will be responsible for ensuring a collaborative approach at the Global Segment level. You will work closely with our team to ensure that our product portfolio aligns with our business objectives and meets the needs of our customers. The successful candidate will have a proven track record of success in product management, strong leadership and communication skills, and a deep understanding of market trends and customer needs. If you are passionate about product management and are looking for a challenging and rewarding opportunity, we would love to hear from you.


Key responsibilities

1.    Product Portfolio Management 

  • Lead the product line management and efforts in defining the strategy for new category/product opportunities. Co-develop business cases and strategies for new products, segments, countries. Develop, communicate, and implements strategic portfolio plans.
  • Gather and analyze data, prioritize market trends and direction, analyze and maintain key performance indicators to measure overall health of the product line. Monitors marketplace for competitive moves.  Works with cross functional teams to develop internal and external competitive analysis and selling-against guides.
  • Develops and executes portfolio plans in line with strategy; to provide clarity and guidance on new product development; introduction; global development or local optimization; as well as rationalization & discontinuation of existing products.
  • Responsible to manage the life cycle of the product portfolio by bridging the organizations commercial and RD&I teams, ensuring market needs are fully defined and communicated into the product development processes. Develops initiatives to sustainably reduce SLOB.
  • Leads the Stage Gate process; coordinates project development by ensuring alignment of the Stage Gate process with market inputs and business strategy.  Provide Stage Gate projects with outward focused inputs.  Maintains active product profiles aligned with current market inputs.

2.    Product Positioning & Commercialization

  • Responsible for launch of new products through coordination with multi-disciplinary teams. Drive product launch planning and provide guidance to the cross-functional product launch team to complete all required preparation and launch activities. 
  • Coordinates product introduction and market exploitation with the Marketing and Sales organizations to ensure maximum penetration and provides guidance on specific product selection versus customer requirements.
  • Guide new product development and/or modifications of a product or product line to achieve the goals set by Sales/Marketing and in line with the budget.
  • Ensure market potential by working with Marketing to establish pricing targets and market strategies, estimate potential sales, introduce market and distribution/channel issues.  Ensures product costing targets are being met.

3.    Product related Communication

  • Develop & implement high impact / differentiated product positioning and messaging to the internal organization and external customers; message strategy, planning and deliverables.
  • Ensures creation by Commercial Marketing of high-impact sales tools and customer retention tools such as white papers, newsletters, presentations, product demos.


4.    Market Insights; Strategy & Innovation

  • Assists in plans and projects development for market-research. 
  • Utilize and interpret internal/ external market information related to products to understand customer needs and presents conclusions and recommendations for strategy.


5.    Compliance & HSE

  • Be familiar with and ensure compliance with applicable policies and procedures related to personal conduct and HSE standards.
  • Develops & implements action plans in line with PSRA guidance to ensure that TDS/SDS/labels and New Product Development / New Product Introduction are compliant with legal requirements of destination markets. Manages product master data.


6.    Complaint handling and product test

  • Own complaints’ process. Responsible for ensuring adequate and timely handling of complaints, remaining at all times the focal point for internal stakeholders. As needed become involved in customer interactions for resolution and/or escalation.
  • Organize NPD-evaluation to assess the market adequacy of new development. Drive the product test market ensuring all required check points are met prior to market launch.
  • Organize regular competitive product testing and benchmarking in cooperation with Technical Sales and R&DI application teams.


What do you bring?

We are looking for a highly qualified Product Manager who has a minimum of 5 years of experience in either R&D, Manufacturing, or Marketing, with an additional 3 years of experience as a Product Manager, and a university degree in engineering, chemistry, business, or marketing.

You should have a sound understanding of Project Management & Program Management and Customer and Supplier relationships, as well as excellent written and verbal communication skills, and IT-savviness in SAP, project management tools, and Excel. The ideal candidate should have developed business acumen and strong analytical and problem-solving skills, be skilled at working effectively with cross-functional teams in a matrix organization, and be commercially astute and technically strong with excellent business analysis skills too.


Become part of an outstanding company

AkzoNobel is consistently rated as one of the top employers in The Netherlands. You will join a company that is committed to achieving real sustainability. At a personal level you will also benefit from:

  • A competitive salary with an above average number of annual holidays.
  • Participation in the AkzoNobel pension plan.
  • Travel expenses to and from work.
  • Opportunities for education that will help you to grow beyond this role.


More information and how to apply

We welcome your online application via Only online applications including resume, cover letter and grade list will be considered. If applicable, is essential that you have a visa that allows you to work in the Netherlands. If you have any questions, please contact Marcel Thor, Talent Acquisition Partner, +31 880 030 731, option 2. Or send an email to

The recruitment process includes a selection of the best applications received through the system, interview rounds and further steps. An online assessment might be part of the selection process. 

An employment screening may be part of the selection process. 


All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age or disability.

Requisition ID: 28950