Notion’s org chart: a closer look at a product-led rocketship

Nathan Wangliao4 min read

If you’re a founder or exec at a SaaS startup, you might be thinking, how do I best set up my org structure for success. In this post, we look at Notion’s org chart and team composition. This helps us understand what best-in-class looks like for a product-led growth company, especially one that’s in hypergrowth.

Hopefully, this will then help you structure your own teams, and prepare your hiring machine so that you are well positioned to grow fast but also efficiently.

First, let’s have a closer look at Notion.

True product-led growth

Notion was founded in 2012 by Ivan Zhao and Simon Last. The early team spent a long time tinkering, building, and re-building the product. They were patient, and it shows in the product.

After re-launching in 2018, it has turned what was thought to be a ‘done’ space of note-taking, productivity, and collaboration on its head. Despite established solutions such as Asana, Evernote and Google Docs, Notion is one of the fastest-growing startups right now.

Today, Notion is worth $2B+. It also has:

  • 4+ million users
  • Almost 100m website visits in the last 6 months
  • ~100k referring domains

What is most impressive is – all this is built on true product-led growth.

What do we mean? Well, unlike most other successful B2B SaaS companies, Notion barely did any marketing and sales until recently. Even in 2020, when it had millions of users, Notion had only 40 employees, which were mostly in product, engineering, and design.

The only thing they did besides building a viral product that generated word of mouth, was to build highly passionate communities. For example, the Notion subreddit has ~150k subscribers and 200+ new subscribers per day. Any other SaaS product with that many users would count themselves lucky. For a deep-dive into how Notion has mastered community-led growth, check out Foundation Inc’s deep dive.

Most of Notion’s traffic comes from users going to the site directly or organically searching for it. Only 0.1% of traffic comes from an ad!

Recently, however, Notion has started layering on a sales and go-to-market team. It is also expanding its footprint geographically. As we noted in our article on the evolution of product-led go to market strategies, to truly become a large company, almost all PLG startups have to layer on sales and move upmarket. That’s why the company has grown from ~40 people in 2020 to 150+ in 2021.

Check out this article to understand when you should layer on sales for a PLG company.

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Notion’s org chart today (155 employees)

Here is how Notion’s org breaks down across its key functions1.

  • CEO + Co-founder (155)
    • COO (34)
      • Head of BizOps and Finance (6)
        • BizOps (2)
        • Head of Accounting (4)
          • Accounting (3)
      • Head of Strategic Projects (1)
      • Operations (5)
      • Legal (3)
      • Head of People (18) with Recruiters, Talent Ops
    • Head of Engineering (34)
      • Head of Foundation Engineering (1)
      • Engineering Managers (32)
        • Software Engineers (29)
        • Front End Web Developer (1)
    • Product and Design Lead (21)
      • Product Specialists (2)
      • Product Ops (4)
      • Product Managers (8)
      • Designers (6)
    • CRO (64)
      • Enterprise AE (7)
      • Business Development (1)
      • Sales Ops (1)
      • Other sales (2)
      • Head of Platform and Partnerships (1)
      • SMB GTM Lead (1)
      • Head of Community (10)
        • Head of Developer Relations (1)
        • Community Managers and Specialists (8)
      • Head of Customer Success (5), with 4 CSMs
      • Heads of Customer Experience (9) with 7 CX Managers and Specialists
      • Head of Marketing (21)
        • Head of Growth (3) with 2 Growth specialists
        • Product Marketing (3)
        • Marketing Ops (1)
        • Content Marketing (2)
        • Email Marketing (1)
        • Events Marketing (1)
        • Performance Marketing (1)
        • Influencer Marketing (1)
        • Other Marketers (6)
        • Illustrator (1)
      • International Expansion – GM EMEA, GM Japan, Localization Manager (5)
        • EMEA Growth (2)

Breakdown of Notion’s headcount

Takeaways from the org structure

  • Growing your revenue teams is important at this stage. Most of the growth in headcount over the last year has been in Notion’s revenue teams. From having almost no sales and marketing, Notion has quickly transformed into a company where almost half the people are working in revenue teams!
  • Community remains a key pillar of growth. Having 10 people work on community reflects how much of a priority community-led growth has been for Notion.
  • Having a strong people team sets your growth up for success. At 18 strong, the People team makes up more than 10% of the company. This helps Notion grow sustainably, maintain the talent bar, and also ensure culture does not become distorted as the company triples in size.

We will be continuing our deep dive into successful PLG companies over the next few weeks. Subscribe to our newsletter below for more product-led growth breakdowns like this one!

1 This org structure is an outside-in analysis and not an official Notion structure.

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