Nov 13 • 1HR 7M

An inside look at how the New York Times builds product | Alex Hardiman (CPO at The New York Times)

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Appears in this episode

Lenny Rachitsky
Lenny Rachitsky interviews world-class product leaders and growth experts to uncover concrete, actionable, and tactical advice to help you build, launch, and grow your own product.
Episode details

Alex Hardiman is Chief Product Officer at the New York Times, where she oversees the company’s news, cooking, games, audio and advertising products. Previously, Alex was Chief Business & Product Officer at The Atlantic, and before that she was Head of News Products at Facebook. We discuss how engineers and product people work with writers to create impactful stories, how teams build the incredible visualizations and experiences for, how product teams are structured within the New York Times, and the good and bad about working at a company like the New York Times versus a FAANG tech company. We also talk about the details behind the New York Times’s acquisition of Wordle and uncover what the Times is dreaming up for its product over the next 10 years.

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Find the full transcript here:

Where to find Alex Hardiman:

• Twitter:

• LinkedIn:

Where to find Lenny:

• Newsletter:

• Twitter:

• LinkedIn:

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors for making this episode possible:

• Miro:

• Athletic Greens:

• Vanta:


• Jodi Kantor:

• Wordle:

• Wordle Is a Love Story:

• Josh Wardle on Twitter:

• Eric Kim’s recipes:

• Wirecutter:

Framing Britney Spears:

Hard Fork podcast:

High Growth Handbook: Scaling Startups from 10 to 10,000 People:

An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management:

The Revolt of the Public and the Crisis of Authority in the New Millennium:

Giovanni’s Room:

The Daily podcast:

The Wire on HBO:

• Google Workspace:

• Slack:

• Figma:

• Mode:

• GitHub:

• Fidji Simo on LinkedIn:

In this episode, we cover:

(04:48) Alex’s background

(07:37) How Alex fought disinformation on the news team at Facebook 

(11:11) How some product people thrive in chaos

(14:13) Alex’s return to the New York Times

(16:22) What product means at the New York Times

(20:42) How the product team at the New York Times is structured

(26:20) How the New York Times makes stories come alive with balanced creative and technical teams

(33:15) The acquisition of Wordle 

(42:00) What it was like to work at the New York Times during the onset of Covid

(47:11) How to avoid burnout on a product team

(49:26) How the New York Times has set itself apart with its subscription package

(52:21) How the New York Times’s products are rooted in helping in the real world

(52:54) Lenny’s tips for improving Wirecutter

(53:36) The differences and similarities on product teams in a news organization

(59:58) Lightning round

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