James LaCroix

James LaCroix

Product Design Leader in Chicago, He/Him


A design leader, people manager, and product thinker with a track record of growing and developing high-performing, customer-focused product design teams.

With an entrepreneurial background that spans Business Strategy, Product, Engineering, and Design, I have a history of driving cross-functional initiatives that deliver impact for customers and businesses.

Through a principled leadership approach that cares deeply about the team, partners, customers, and quality of work, I’ve mentored and coached large-scale teams — and the individuals within them — to consistently deliver successful results.

Work Experience

2021 — Now
Chicago, IL
  • Directed the Design team for Twitter’s advertising and business management experiences, advancing a nearly $6B/yr advertising business with strategic improvements impacting business customers and end consumers.

  • Operated as a key decision-maker in the planning and prioritizing of cross-functional advertising initiatives that impacted 18 product designers and 2 other design managers.

  • Constructed a managerial layer and organized team structure to meet evolving job responsibilities.

  • Assembled a diverse, international team across US, Canada, and UK.

  • Proposed a strategic shift to improve ad supply efficiency and simplify ad buying through innovative product design.

  • Led an effort to rewrite the career ladder for Twitter’s Product Design team, boosting departmental performance.

  • Grew Twitter’s SMB advertising segment through a clear product vision.

  • Increased performance ad revenue through an improved experience for lower-funnel advertisers and the release of a new Dynamic Product Ads product.

  • As a result of organizational impact, was in the process of being promoted to Director in the final week at Twitter.

2019 — 2021
San Francisco, CA
  • Managed the entire Design team for Twitter’s advertiser-facing experiences, incorporating end-to-end product developments for ad planning, creation, optimization, and reporting. Drove initiatives to deliver effective brand and performance products to grow the company’s full-funnel advertising business.

  • Led Design for Twitter’s business management experiences to streamline the onboarding of businesses, account setup and access control, asset management, and cooperative partnerships with external entities.

  • Oversaw the Design team for MoPub, an acquisition by Twitter, overseeing the development of its demand and supply ad solutions while bolstering connections between its operations and Twitter’s core experiences.

  • Transformed the Design team from a reactionary position into an influential point of view on product strategy, significantly boosting their cross-functional impact.

  • Guided a high-performing team of 12-13 designers through organizational changes and the pandemic with minimal attrition.

  • Crafted an organizational design shift to foster stronger leadership qualities in my direct report, enabling them to assume a managerial role.

  • Spearheaded an Advertiser Experience vision project, which received high praise from Twitter executives and led to over half of the proposed concepts being incorporated in product roadmaps.

2018 — 2019
San Francisco, CA
  • Operated as a leader within Design and with cross-functional teams, focused on Twitter’s advertiser-facing experiences and other revenue-generating initiatives.

  • Led a large-scale effort to create a business infrastructure to empower organizations to manage teams, assets, and permissions through interactive prototypes, diagrams, and research session facilitation.

  • Orchestrated strategic vision workshops for cohesive advertiser-facing experience direction.

  • Contributed to Twitter’s revenue prioritization efforts in coordination with cross-functional leadership.

  • Facilitated the Design team’s evolution by organizing resources, improving processes, and designing organizational structures.

2017 — 2018
San Francisco
  • Led cross-functional efforts to drive innovation in Twitter’s advertiser experience while onboarding and training new team members.

  • Spearheaded the development of scalable asset creation and management solutions across advertiser experiences.

  • Proposed a strategic pause and re-evaluation of business infrastructure initiatives to meet customer needs.

  • Carried out an extensive research study to understand customer use cases for Twitter’s advertiser products and partner offerings.

  • Instructed, developed, and transferred project ownership to junior team members.

  • Played a leadership role in streamlining design systems at Twitter.

  • Recruited, hired, and mentored an intern who was subsequently offered a full-time role.

2016 — 2017
San Francisco, CA
  • Orchestrated innovative projects for advertiser-facing experiences to strengthen the customer journey from planning and creation to optimization and reporting.

  • Devised approaches to reduce churn in campaign creation, yielding substantially greater revenue.

  • Conceived solutions to minimize fragmentation of ad creation experiences.

  • Played a pivotal role in evolving and integrating the Twitter design system into product changes and initiatives.

  • Developed an automated script for scaling and promoting design system components across Twitter.

2005 — 2016
Chicago, IL
  • Founded LaCroix Design Co. and leveraged design thinking to create a range of solutions for customers spanning illustration, branding, print, web, and mobile applications.

  • Evolved the studio from pushing the boundaries of traditional illustration, branding, and print to designing and delivering web and mobile application experiences.

  • Managed the whole product development cycle from hypotheses identification, roadmap creation, prototyping, and concept validation to final production and post-launch data measurement

  • Designed and developed an online assessment application delivering 10,000–15,000 unique daily users across various devices.

  • Led the design and development of a peer-to-peer marketplace for virtual experiences consisting of direct messaging capabilities.

2009 — 2012
Nashville, TN
  • Developed and taught an enriched design curriculum as a part-time Adjunct Professor.

  • Instructed stimulating and challenging Design classes, generating highly positive student reviews.

  • Facilitated discourse and constructive critiques to propel student creativity.

2005 — 2005
Creative Director at Soapbox Branding
Nashville, TN
  • Founding team member launching a full-service branding and merchandising company for clients in the music industry.

  • Established, developed, and managed branding and merchandising operations for clients in the music industry.

  • Generated clientele and managed creative initiatives for merchandise projects from inception to production to final sale.

  • Constructed a network of freelancers for various assignments, including designing branded merchandise.

2003 — 2005
Creative Director at MM Merch
Nashville, TN
  • Pioneered an e-commerce merchandising business for the music industry, resulting in increased sales and brand awareness.

  • Recruited, directed, and managed a team of freelance designers to deliver branding and merchandising solutions.

  • Managed all branded merchandise product development aspects from inception to final sale.