Chris Busch, Product Manager in Woodside, CA, United States
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Chris Busch

Verified Expert  in Product Management

Product Manager

Woodside, CA, United States
Toptal Member Since
January 27, 2020

Chris is a self-starting entrepreneur who transforms visions into compelling SaaS product strategies and delivers ROI. He's invented and led product, design, and CI/CD engineering up to 130 FTE for impactful products in real-time analytics, NLP, and IoT for consumer/enterprise markets as well as healthcare AI/ML. Chris's platforms generate $350 million in revenue, using emerging technologies at SAP and Cognizant. He is a two-time recipient of the "IoT Evolution Product of the Year" award.

Work Experience

Chief AI Engineer | Head Technical Product and Product Portfolio for AI Platforms

2020 - PRESENT
Elevance Health
  • Led efforts to structure product and engineering processes and patient data for 60 million members, developed market and end-user expertise, established channels into healthcare organizations, and drove adoption of a customer-focused culture.
  • Led matrixed, cross-functional team of 160 across product leaders, front/back-end engineers, data scientists, Quality, CI/CD.
  • Invented and delivered transformative prior auth solution, reducing prior auth decisions from days and weeks to seconds using FHIR patient data. Identified and analyzed a $1 billion cost-saving opportunity.
  • Established and led a cross-functional team of 38 FTE from idea to production launch in five months on a zero-trust platform.
  • Established ethnographic customer research methodologies and strategic product management focus to drive a better understanding of target users, customer segments, revenue opportunities, and GTM strategies.
  • Forged strategic partnerships with data science leads at Harvard, Mount Sinai, UT Austin, and other leading institutions to collaborate on machine learning and improve patient outcomes.
  • Oversaw technical product and portfolio for the Elevance Health AI/ML app platform and product portfolio of around 30 initiatives like telehealth, Machine Learning models, utilization management, and interoperability.
  • Led a team to create FHIR R4 clinical data pipeline, transforming multi-sourced data into FHIR R4 lifetime patient records for 70M Elevance members/patients, crosswalk CMTs, and UCUM, updated daily.
  • Established ethnographic customer research methodologies and strategic product management focus to drive a better understanding of target users, customer segments, revenue opportunities, and GTM strategies.

CEO Mentor

2014 - PRESENT
Stanford University
  • Acted as a startup mentor and angel investor at Stanford Business School Ignite, Alchemist Accelerator, and the German Accelerator Silicon Valley with exits of over $250 million and raised over $160 million in capital.
  • Served as a startup mentor and member of a VC panel on Ignite New Business Incubation Program at Stanford Graduate School of Business, Stanford, CA.
  • Worked with Stanford startups to enable them to successfully raise capital and launch rapidly growing products to market.

Product Manager

2024 - 2024
Media in vita
  • Researched and delivered competitive analysis and target market segmentation for the German market.
  • Performed research on pricing strategy, pricing, and tiers for the German market.
  • Researched and delivered a go-to-market strategy for the German market.

Fractional CIO

2022 - 2022
Retrac Inc dba Think Safe Inc
  • Worked directly with CEO to restructure team and engineering processes and set strategy for the next 12 months reducing overhead and enabling the team to consistently meet deadlines.
  • Introduced scalable and agile engineering processes and methodologies, reducing conflicts and enabling the team to meet deadlines and properly prioritize work. Trained them in agile, created a prioritized roadmap, and introduced and implemented DevOps and CI/CD.
  • Led multiple vendor evaluations for a mass communication platform.

VP Global Product Practice | Head of “Insight to Code”

2017 - 2019
Cognizant Technology Solutions
  • Hired to turn a 2.5-year-old, zero-revenue software product development practice off the ground and scale it. I won multiple new product development deals after analyzing root causes and implementing a new strategy, leading at C-Level.
  • Combined human-science-driven insights and Agile development methodologies to define, build, and launch new strategic digital products for Cognizant's F500 clients within 4-6 months, hiring and leading an engineering team of 50 FTE.
  • Increased ARR for product practice from $300,000 to $10 million across 12 SoWs in 10 months, 7x of 2018 MBO at a 65% margin, 100% utilization 100% turned into multi-year SoWs, $60-million pipeline in August 2019 from $600,000 invest.
  • Specified, engineered, and launched an elastic, self-service advertising platform from concept to market launch by hiring and leading a team of 47 engineers across five global Scrum teams.
  • Oversaw the client engineering delivery from concept to successful market launch in five months. Delivered a new strategic Azure self-service advertising platform for Comcast, hiring and leading CI/CD and DevOps engineering team of 47.
  • Defined and rolled out repeatable agile, CI/CD, DevOps product engineering methodology and practice GTM and sales. As part of the new practice strategy, led client product ideation and defined epics/stories, requirements, and multi-year roadmaps.

GTM | Product Head | Global Head of IoT for Consumer Industries and Life Sciences

2016 - 2017
  • Was promoted and expanded the industry coverage of my IoT solution into healthcare and life sciences and continued to lead the product team and drive sales and GTM for IoT products that I conceived.
  • Obtained a $30-million product development approval and investment from EVP (Feb 2016) for a global DevOps product engineering team of 130 engineers (2012–2016) and eight PMs.
  • Launched an IoT platform to market in November 2016 (today: SAP Connected Goods, released Nov 2016).
  • Worked on an IoT Salesforce platform (CPG and retail industry) which closed $33 million (2016) and entered $54 million into a CRM pipeline for CPG and retail IoT (2017).

Global Chief Product Owner and Creator | SAP Leonardo IoT Connected Goods

2012 - 2017
  • Conceived the product, validated product/market fit, created business cases, and defined the requirements and architecture of an IoT platform leveraging IoT for real-time monitoring and maintenance of large distributed fleets of assets.
  • Analyzed the market to define a $250 million ARR IoT product. Conceived product, validated product/market fit, and built business case, requirements, and architecture of an IoT platform using sensor signals for real-time distributed asset monitoring.
  • Planned and delivered an IoT platform, from product vision, MVP, customer pilots, and launch to a multi-year roadmap for the SAP CPG IoT portfolio.
  • Assembled a cross-functional team of 60 FTEs and coordinated multimillion-dollar efforts with engineering, QA, design, sales, marketing, pricing, and legal across 15 product teams in North America, Germany, France, Austria, and Hungary.
  • Established a strategic partner ecosystem, filling SAP IoT portfolio gaps with global telco carriers (Verizon, Orange) and leading IoT hardware (Telit, Intel, Samsung) and software (ILS) partners.
  • Enabled a sales team of 50 account executives globally and collaborated on creating a pricing model and sales motion. Built and drove a pipeline with 100 leading global CPG businesses, e.g., Unilever, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Phillip Morris, and Red Bull.
  • Won the first $4-million implementation deal with Coca-Cola six months after creating a business plan.
  • Established SAP as a thought leader in IoT. The team won the 2014 and 2015 Product of the Year awards.
  • Created a solution that CNN covered as 1 of 5 highlights at Mobile World Congress 2015; was on stage at Cisco IoT World Forum Keynote 2013 and added coverage from BBC, CNN, and CCTV. Demonstrated thought leadership in Gartner Magic Quadrant 2014.
  • Created a project management methodology that was applied at the bottling company above and was turned into a case study and featured throughout a design-thinking training curriculum at SAP for 8,000 attendees.

Senior Director | Head of Product

2010 - 2012
  • Turned around SAP NLP technology through first “Voice of the Customer” solution, now $13B TAM (2016), among leading consumer product manufacturers. Product eventually included in SAP Customer Activity Repository and capability in SAP HANA.
  • Created a product that eventually included in the SAP customer activity repository and capability in SAP HANA. Led a dedicated agile, full-stack engineering team of 15 in India.
  • Increased the total obtainable market to $600 million and 30x (2012) which turned around the modest revenue.
  • Pioneered a consumer-facing CPG product solution by transforming unstructured into structured data.
  • Demonstrated product/market fit by winning customer pilot implementations with leading CPG companies.
  • Created a product that went on the SAP price list and contributed $30 million in ARR in 2016.
  • Won the best talk award for VOC at SAP consumer products advisory council by CIO’s of SAP’s 20 largest CPG customers.

Senior Director | Senior Product Owner of SAP Cloud Imaging and New Product Development

2009 - 2010
  • Conceived and led cross-functional product development for SAP’s 1ST internal system imaging cloud, replacing physical computers with cloud virtual machine clusters to reduce TCO by 90% per user/month.
  • Assembled and led a team of 15 engineers across SAP to prototype, test, and deploy.
  • Saved SAP $80 million within ten months, serving 15,000 instances/month (2013) enterprise-wide across all development and external demo systems.

Director | Product Manager of Enterprise Widgets and New Product Development

2007 - 2009
  • Led product management and engineering team to develop small, real-time analytics apps providing succinct business value via real time reporting. Led cross functional development team of 30 in Latvia.
  • Managed a cross-functional development team of 30 in Latvia.
  • Presented to the CEO which led to the CEO adding the functionality and roadmap into SAP HANA Analytics product portfolio.

Director of Head User Experience and Mid-market ERP

2005 - 2007
  • Directed enterprise software user-centered design processes throughout product planning, development, and user testing life cycle.
  • Increased ease of use by 80% when objectively measured user experience of the flagship SMB ERP product.
  • Saved SAP €5 million in development cost with a project with the introduction of the Six Sigma approach.

Principal Consultant

2004 - 2005
  • Led a software quality engineering unit of eight directly reporting to me.
  • Served as a principal quality manager on two of SAP’s biggest/most risky custom development projects (Siemens, Schneider Electric), each with ~20,000-person days.
  • Increased ease of use by 80% when we objectively measured the user experience of the flagship SMB ERP product.
  • Delivered 20,000-person day quality projects on time and within budget.

Director of Process Implementation

2003 - 2004
SPM Technologies GmbH
  • Worked with a German F100 to sell and develop complex enterprise software.
  • Evaluated, created business case, and began the implementation of 400 FTE joint-venture between SPM and Deutsche Telekom.
  • Developed quality management offerings for large IT organizations.

Founder | CTO | CEO

1996 - 2003
Brainjunction GmbH
  • Built the company and product from scratch to 30 FTE and $2 million in revenue.
  • Won deals between 50-400 TEUR with German blue-chip customers: Bertelsmann, Deutsche Bank, Deutsche Telekom, DaimlerChrysler, and VW.
  • Created a product used by the M&A team to coordinate the merger between Chrysler and Daimler Benz.
  • Obtained a two-year frame contract for €250,000 from Daimler Chrysler.

Self-service Advertising SaaS Platform

Led a product from concept through development to market launch.

As part of a new practice strategy, I led the creation and delivery of a strategic elastic Azure self-service advertising platform for Comcast, one of Cognizant's biggest clients.

• Led product ideation.
• Defined epics and stories.
• Established requirements.
• Created a multi-year roadmap.
• Handled technical discovery and engineering delivery.
• Hired and led the development team of 47, including eight directs, SD POs, SD architects, VP UX, VD, and QE with four on/offshore agile, full-stack engineering teams.
• Was accountable for client engagement delivery from concept to successful market launch in five months.

VP Product | Health Care AI/ML Platform

Invented and delivered a transformative prior auth solution, reducing previous auth decisions from days and weeks to seconds using FHIR patient data. Initiated and won an implementation agreement for $4.8M on the ML platform.

Brought in as contractor without AI/ML or healthcare experience. After 24 months, hired at VP-level to re-focus and support AI/ML engineering and product teams to transform healthcare through machine learning at the second-largest insurance company with around 40 million members. Led efforts to structure product and engineering processes, develop market and end-user expertise, establish channels into hospitals/healthcare organizations, and drive the adoption of a customer-focused culture.

Invented and delivered a transformative prior auth solution, reducing previous auth decisions from days and weeks to seconds using FHIR patient data. Identified and analyzed a $1 billion cost-saving opportunity. Established and led a cross-functional team of 38 FTE from idea to product launch in five months on the AWS zero-trust platform.

Established ethnographic customer research methodologies and strategic product management focus to drive a better understanding of target users, customer segments, revenue opportunities, and GTM strategies.

Forged strategic partnerships with data science leads at Harvard, Mount Sinai, UT Austin, and other leading institutions to collaborate on machine learning and improve patient outcomes.

Feasibility Evaluation, Pitch Deck, and LOE for AI Chatbot

Conducted feasibility evaluation for an AI chatbot. Built the team roster and Level of Effort (LOE) estimates from idea to MVP. Created a pitch deck for seed fundraising.

• Discussed objectives for MVP with the client.
• Conducted market and competitive research on players, capabilities, and funding.
• Conducted feasibility evaluation for an AI chatbot.
• Created the team roster and LOE estimates from idea to MVP.
• Created a pitch deck for seed fundraising.
2001 - 2001

Attended Lectures in Economics

UCLA - Los Angeles, CA, USA

1998 - 2001

Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics

Freie Universität Berlin - Berlin, Germany

1994 - 1996

Completed Courses in Computer Science

Universität Passau - Passau, Germany


Trainer | Professional Scrum Product Owner I, PSPO I


SAP Trainer for Business Model Innovation



SAP Project Management Professional (SAP PMI)



SAP New Product Ramp-up Coach



Zoom, VMware vSphere, Jira, Trello, Slack, Confluence, Pivotal Tracker, Microsoft Project, Strategyzer, Git, GitHub, GitLab CI/CD, Figma


Windows Server 2016, SharePoint, Ubuntu, Debian Linux, Azure


Agile Product Management, B2B2C, B2C, Design Thinking, Scrum, Waterfall Development, Requirements Analysis, Team Development, Data Science, Agile, Business to Business to Consumer (B2B2C), Agile Project Management, Stage Gate Process, Kanban, DevOps, Continuous Delivery (CD), HL7 FHIR Standard

Industry Expertise

High-tech Startups, Marketplaces, Automotive, Healthcare, Health & Wellness


B2B, Product Roadmaps, Product Owner, Certified Scrum Product Owner (CSPO), Product Sales, Enterprise SaaS, Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO), Digital Product Management, Team Mentoring, Lean Startups, Software as a Service (SaaS), VMware ESXi, Business to Business (B2B), Business Design, Management Consulting, IT Consulting, App Design, Minimum Viable Product (MVP), SaaS, Project Scoping, PSM-1, Business Modeling, Enterprise Software, Enterprise, User Experience (UX), Business Cases, Go-to-market Plans, Sales Enablement, Product Strategy, Product Design, Product Delivery, PMI Agile Certified Practitioner (PMI-ACP), Use Cases, Leadership, Remote Team Leadership, Technical Leadership, Thought Leadership, Team Leadership, Backlog Management, User Research, Communication, Communication Management, Digital Strategy, Pricing Models, Pricing Strategy, Entrepreneurship, Market Research & Analysis, Market Research, Commercialization, Product Launch, Product Evangelism, Ideation, Requirements & Specifications, Business Requirements, Design Requirements, Roadmaps, Feature Roadmaps, Team Building, Team Management, Microsoft Teams, Product-market Fit, Internet of Things (IoT), Competitor Analysis & Profiling, Competitive Intelligence, Intercultural Competence, Competitive Strategy, Partner Management, B2B Partnerships, Strategic Partnerships, IaaS, CTO, CEO, Chief Product Officer (CPO), Aha!, Teams, Product Discovery, Discovery, Customer Discovery, Staffing, Operations, Objectives & Key Results (OKRs), Competitive Analysis, Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), Minimum Marketable Product (MMP), Agile Product Delivery, Digital Product Design, Customer Success, Lean Product Manager, Lean Product Development, User Requirements, Strategy, Sales Strategy, Launch Strategy, Digital Transformation, UX Strategy, Wearables, User Interviews, Technical Product Management, Interim CPO, Innovation Labs, Agile Leadership, Product Management, Conceptualization, Stakeholder Analysis, Stakeholder Engagement, Lean Analytics, Business Strategy, Business Coaching, Executive Coaching, Business Operations, Startups, Growth Hacking, Growth Strategy, Finance, Marketing, Mobile App Development, Coaching, Mentorship & Coaching, Product Growth, Sprint Planning, Mentorship, Mobile Applications, Web Applications, CIO, Product Leadership, Project Management, Web & Mobile Applications, Competition Research, Consumer Insights, Market Research Analyst, eCommerce UX, Data Analysis, QA Testing, Databases, Business to Consumer (B2C), Apps, Product Consultant, Product Strategy Consultant, Startup Funding, Startup Consulting, Early-stage Startups, Project Planning, Project Timelines, Discovery Workshops, B2B Product Management, Product Vision, User Stories, Feature Backlog Prioritization, User Interface (UI), QA Leadership, Reporting, Dashboards, New Product Development, Pitch Decks, Early-stage Funding, Electronic Health Records (EHR), Wireframing, Voice of the Customer (VoC), New Product Business Cases, Waterfall Methodology, Creative Thinking, Critical Thinking, Consulting, Go-to-market Strategy, Investor Presentations, Presentations, Presentation Design, Fundraising, User Personas, Solution Architecture, Buyer Personas, Managed Service Providers (MSP), Integration, User Journeys, Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Onboarding, LAMP, Cloud Platforms, Consumer-facing Product Design, Quality Assurance (QA), Estimations, Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Retail & Wholesale, Statement of Work, Analytics, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Video Editing, Data Analytics, SaaS Design, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Medical Devices, FDA & EPA Regulations, Bitbucket, Healthcare IT, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT), Healthcare Software, Continuous Integration (CI), Linux, Redis, Java, Senior Executive Management, Sales, Innovation, Innovation Strategy, Disruptive Innovation, CX Strategy, Agile DevOps, Systems Thinking, Health IT, Healthcare Services, Digital Health, Lean, IT Strategy, Product Coach, Executive Support, Artificial Intelligence Product Manager, Machine Learning, Big Data, Digital Advertising, Germany, Digital Marketing, Beta Testing, Advertising, Wellness, UX Design

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