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From sales development to product: Adrian’s career progression at Canonical

Career progression is crucial to employee engagement and retention. Canonical encourages employees to develop their own  personal development journeys,  giving them the chance to apply internally for roles they are passionate about even if they come from different backgrounds.  We have many great examples. Today we will be featuring the story of Adrian Matei.

Adrian is a Product Manager here at Canonical, leading the strategy of our Managed Solutions offering. His team ensures that customers receive managed services that are in tune with market expectations and effectively support business goals. We asked Adrian more about his story with Canonical and how his career progressed. 

Adrian’s career journey with Canonical

When did you start with Canonical and what was your original role?

I joined Canonical in the summer of 2022, as a Sales Development Representative for the French markets. It was my first venture into sales development, which I wanted to undertake because of my natural extraversion and my love for the French language. 

What did you switch to and when?

I switched to Product Management in July 2023, so just over a year after joining. 

What was the reason behind that?

I’ve got a background in business management for the tech sector, and so I’m naturally curious about ways in which IT products can be improved to become more competitive. I had been in touch with my predecessor – whom I salute in case he’s reading this – and I found his role fascinating: managing not a standalone product, but a complex commercial and technical set of protocols that bring Canonical’s entire portfolio to customers. 

Because of my background and interests, I had developed fruitful relationships with several other Product Managers, who encouraged me to apply. Apply I did, excitedly.  With a bit of luck and a lot of work, I got the role.  And I could not be happier, because while I did enjoy sales, product management comes more naturally to me, and gives me a significantly more profound sense of impact and satisfaction. 

What was the process and how long did it take? 

The process was thorough due to the high specialization required by product management within our company, but this allowed me to get to know the team better. Product Management is at the core of Canonical’s identity. Our team of Product Managers brings together a set of very talented individuals, and it’s a demanding discipline which requires thought-leadership, an analytical mindset, solid stakeholder management and a strategic outlook. Therefore, in order to verify my technical and commercial eligibility for this team, multiple people had to interview me. 

Ihad to prepare presentations, conduct market research, and ultimately form an initial hypothesis about where the product should go with my guidance. Understandably it took some time to transition into the team. 

Do you advise readers to consider a career at Canonical? 

Absolutely! Canonical to me is a lovely workplace. It’s filled with very passionate people, and there’s always something new to learn and do. In terms of benefits and work/life balance, it’s perfect for me, because I enjoy both the flexibility of a remote company and the many opportunities to travel (I really love our sprints all over the world). It’s also very stimulating and at times intense. As someone motivated by impact, Canonical gives me the feeling that I’m doing something important. I think the opportunities are endless here. 

Join the team 

Career progression is an area that Canonical puts a lot of attention to and Adrian’s story is evidence of that. In the next article of this series, we’ll explore another story. In the meantime, browse current openings to find the most interesting role for you and apply. Remember, it doesn’t have to be your last role at Canonical 🙂  

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