Meet Thoropass’s new VP of Product: An interview with Andrew Persons

Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to Thoropass’s new VP of Product, Andrew Persons. With a diverse and unique background, he brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our team. In a recent interview, he shared insights about his professional history, proudest accomplishments, lessons learned, and his excitement for the future of the Product Development and Engineering (PDE) organization at Thoropass.

A long story: From accidental product manager to senior product leader

Andrew Persons describes himself as an “accidental product manager.” Let us explain… Despite not studying product management formally, he has always been drawn to the world of technology. He started his career in software services, initially in a front-facing support role. 

Over time, he worked his way up and gained experience in implementation. During this period, he got a peek behind the curtain at how the “sausage was made” in the software world and developed a keen interest in product management. He eventually landed a junior product manager role—and as they say—the rest is history.

Prior to joining Thoropass, he was with an HR and payroll solution called Namely, where he started as their first Senior Product Manager. He helped institute basic practices in product management, owning pillars such as HR, payroll, and benefits, and managed a small group of product managers. He gradually took on more responsibilities and eventually became the VP of Product until Namely was acquired.

Throughout his experience, Andrew has shown a deep commitment and dedication to making a positive impact as a product leader, and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to the Thoropass executive team.

Passion for improving systems and processes in the SaaS B2B space

Andrew is passionate about being part of a company whose mission is to help customers do their jobs better. He particularly enjoys working in the SaaS B2B space, focusing on serving small and mid-market companies, which he considers his sweet spot. 

His experience dealing with compliance at previous companies has given him a deep understanding of the importance of the space Thoropass operates in. He is excited about leveraging his skills and expertise to uplevel the product organization at Thoropass and help navigate the peaks and valleys of scaling a startup.

Proudest accomplishments: From individual contributor to leading team success

When asked about his proudest accomplishments, our new VP of Product highlighted that while he has worked on some complicated projects as an individual contributor, he now takes more pride in the accomplishments of his team members. 

By the time he left Namely, he was proudest of the quality of work his product managers, designers, and engineering team produced. He emphasized the importance of thoughtfulness and rigor in roadmap planning and execution and how it contributes to a company’s more significant strategic decisions. He also has become adept at managing up and getting senior leaders on board to take a different path that may not be obvious or easy but is the right one for the company.

Beyond his professional achievements, Andrew is also a proud father of a four-year-old daughter, which he considers a crowning achievement in his personal life. He adds that he started his career in film and photography and finds fulfillment by pushing himself creatively, finding joy outside of work through creative pursuits.

Nowhere but up from here

Andrew joins the Thoropass executive team as part of a wave of new senior leadership hires, including our first-ever CFO, Dicken Chaplin. On the heels of a $50 M Series C and a complete brand overhaul, there’s nowhere but up for this rocket ship, and we couldn’t feel more confident with folks like Andrew at the steering wheel.

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