Director, Growth Product @ The Athletic – Caitlin Roman: Rewards of the Unknown

Caitlin Roman brings her collective experiences in consulting at McKinsey, Product at Linkedin & Medium, to the World of sports news at The Athletic. Having come up in these subscription powerhouses, Caitlin has a potent combination of high-level business strategy experience alongside the tactical ability to work side by side with her teams to execute. All of which were crucial for a subscription business like the Athletic during a tumultuous 2020 in sports.

Caitlin and her team released several strategies during this time, including different content formats like short form, twitter in the app, breaking news, and pricing strategies to keep users tuning in even when sports weren’t in play.

If there’s a word we would use to describe Caitlin, it would be resilient! Far before she led her team through the pandemic bumps, she had two keystone experiences that she shared on the show that we felt shaped her.

The first is her passion for media at a young age. Working as a newspaper editor in both high school and college, Caitlin sought out the challenge of the daily deadline for her daily newspaper. She talks about those late nights and the stress but attributes this as the reason she loves working in the trenches with her teams today, drawing lines to the similarities in product management.

Before Caitlin found her way to Linkedin, she lived and worked in Ethiopia as a part of a Gates Foundation. During a solo climbing trip in a local gorge, she fell and broke her back, and had to self-rescue. After this grueling experience, she recovered, but Caitlin didn’t only not fly home but continued her work at the time, providing microfinance to farmers in need.

To hear more about Caitlin’s incredible story around how she found her way into product at subscription powerhouses, how she thinks about leading her teams, and her epic time in the wilderness of Ethiopia, take a listen to this episode of How I Grew This.