Interim VP of Design Cleo

London 30-05-2023

Cleo is hiring for an interim VP of Design for an initial 6+ month contract to start ASAP. There would be potential for this person to join in a permanent role if the interim contract goes well. 

About Cleo

People come to Cleo to do work that matters. Every day, we fight for the world’s financial health, building a beloved AI that empowers people to make better financial decisions.

Backed by some of the most well-known investors in tech, we’ve reached over 5 million people. We’re already helping people spend better, avoid overdraft fees and build their credit score and this is just the beginning. 

We’re at an exciting time in our growth, and we’re looking for a VP of Product Design to come into the business and help us unlock our next stage of growth.

The role:

As a chat-first product, we're moving through uncharted territory. Everyday there are new challenges around chat user experience, brand, tone of voice and applied machine learning that you can't just look up the answer to.  

You’ll be responsible for our design direction and ways of working and will be leading a talented team of 10 designers. We are also hiring a design manager to report to you and work with you on design career progression, collaboration, and line management.

An example of your short-term focus: 

  • Outcome 1: Create a vision for design that brings our company and product strategy to life

    • As Cleo leans more heavily into chat-based financial coaching, you will be responsible for creating a design vision that shows how we can coach our users to improve their financial health, and how this relates to our other product offerings
    • You will engage key members of user experience, product, marketing and engineering in the creation of this design vision, getting feedback and aligning with the company and product strategy and then use this to improve the design of our product overall
    • A key goal of the design vision is also to create energy and excitement on where Cleo is headed. You will work closely with the VP of Product to share and articulate the design vision in a way that gives clarity to the company on how users will interact with Cleo in the next 2-3 years
    • Work with design, product and engineering to determine the key changes that need to be made in our existing product flows in order to realise the design vision and align with squads on getting this baseline in place

    Outcome 2: Update Cleo’s brand look and feel in app to reflect our new brand strategy and product focus 

    • Work closely with our VP Brand and marketing design to reflect our mission of “empowering every person to build a life beyond a paycheck” within our app, looking holistically at our visual design and how it appeals to our target audience
    • Ensure that our design system scales with us as we refresh our brand, without putting a ceiling on our creativity
    • Align with user experience, product, and engineering on the scope, timing and resources needed
    • Ensure that our app design continues to be relevant and grows with us as the competitive landscape changes and we launch new products

You should apply if you:

  • Have significant experience and expertise in product design, you’ve worked for highly-regarded B2C Product-led companies or agencies with experience heading up a Design function
  • Have experience setting a design vision that aligns with company and product strategy, and visualising how a product’s competitive advantage and uniqueness can be achieved
  • Are happy working in a startup environment at pace. You have a “done vs. perfect” mindset to get improvements out the door and then improve them iteratively rather than taking a long time over something 100% perfect.
  • Are a great people leader: On the team and across Cleo, you’ll foster a culture of collaboration and innovation 
  • Care deeply about understanding other humans and their relationships with money. You’re passionate about our goal of radically improving our users' relationship with money.
  • Are commercially-minded: You understand a product’s competitive landscape and know how user value affects business value, taking this into account in your design decisions and prioritisation
  • Have great leadership and communication skills - you can get the company excited about your design vision and articulate how it links to the company and product strategy. You can represent design at the leadership level and contribute meaningfully to strategic decisions. 

Logistics: hiring process

Typically our interview processes take between 2-3 weeks, depending on availability of the team and your availability. Here's a rough idea of what to expect with our recruitment process:

  • Stage 1: Chat with one of our Talent team about your experience to see if the role is a good match
  • Stage 2: Meet the CEO & VP Product
  • Stage 3: Meet with our VP People & VP Tech

What do you get for all your hard work? 

  • A competitive compensation package
  • Work at one of the fastest-growing tech startups, backed by top VC firms, Balderton & EQT Ventures
  • Flexibility: We can’t fight for the world’s financial health if we’re not healthy ourselves. We work with everyone to make sure they have the balance they need to do their best work
  • Work where you work best. We’re a globally distributed team. If you live in London we have a hybrid approach, we’d love for you to spend one day a week or more in our beautiful office. If you’re outside of London, we’ll encourage you to spend a couple of days with us a few times per year. And we’ll cover your travel costs, naturally.
  • Other benefits;
    • 6% employer-matched pension in the UK
    • Online courses & internal training to level up your skills
    • Regular socials and activities, online and in-person
    • We'll pay for your Open AI subscription 
    • Online mental health support via Spill
    • And many more!

UK App access: The Cleo app is no longer downloadable in the UK. Why? 99% of our users are based in the US – where financial health is often overlooked. We’ve decided to shift our focus to where we can provide the most value and make the greatest impact. 


Applications are now closed