The VP of Advanced R&D is responsible for developing and leading a best in class advanced research and development team. By providing a pulse on industry direction in materials, chemistry, manufacturing process, and product innovation, you will be accountable through your team and cross-functional collaboration for driving the overall innovation vision from ideation through commercialization. You'll elevate the consumer experience by creating a strategy that maintains Patagonia’s commitment to technical product leadership, creating the best product, and doing no unnecessary harm.
The VP of Advanced R&D is also responsible to create opportunities for staff development, make hiring decisions, and drive performance management, recognition and rewards. He / she will develop a team structure that facilitates and maximizes individual and team performance. The VP of Advanced R&D will develop strong environmental and consumer-oriented points of view, leading the Advanced R&D team in executing the vision through clearly defined short, mid, and long-term research and development strategy. He / she will maintain healthy cross-functional relationships and build strong relationships outside of the immediate team. Additionally, as a member of Patagonia’s senior management team, the VP of Advanced R&D is responsible for forming strong relationships with the VP of Global Product, in addition to those leading the company’s product development and sourcing teams.
Essential Job Functions:
• Represent the voice of Innovation and Advanced R&D both inside and outside the Patagonia organization. Drive functional discussions and initiatives across departments, collaborating for results.
• Continually research new materials and product opportunities and technologies based on clearly defined research platforms, Patagonia business trends, trade shows, and the competitive landscape.
• Look outside the footwear, apparel and textile industries for opportunities that can be potentially relevant to Patagonia. Build the Advanced R&D roadmap in collaboration with key business stakeholders.
• Lead and direct the Quarterly Tech Summit, identifying and prioritizing key innovations that will distinguish Patagonia’s product line, and insure we lead the outdoor, fish, and surf industries.
• Direct the resources of the Advanced R&D team to insure the company’s commercialization efforts are on-track over the short, medium, and long-term horizons. Develop plans that divide work efficently within the R&D team, while at the same time leveraging and integrating their work with their counterparts in Materials R&D, Product Development, Quality, and Sourcing.
• Actively participate with Patagonia’s HIGG Indexing team, leading aspects of this effort where appropriate, and initiating R&D innovations that impact HIGG long-term.
• Collaborate with Business Unit Directors, Environmental Strategy Team, Designers, and Product Developers to develop innovation strategies that meet environmental, functional, design, quality, delivery, and price targets.
• Actively collaborate with Materials Quality R&D, Quality, and Product Development teams to establish test methods and product craftsmanship best practices for advanced research projects that fall outside the normal realm of lab procedure; using testing & certification resources outside the Patagonia lab when appropriate.
• Lead and manage your team, setting goals that align with department and function goals. Manage workload planning project delegation within the team.
• Oversee Company-wide Advanced R&D budget. Develop benchmark criteria to measure effectiveness and scalability of innovation and research investments.
• Conduct presentations and educational seminars to business unit directors, developers, designers, quality and other interested groups regarding technical developments and trends in the textile and materials industries.
o Must be able to sit for extended periods of time.
o Must be able to stand for extended periods of time.
o Ability to look at a computer screen for extended periods of time.
o Ability to maintain a composed and professional demeanor within a flexible and (at times noisy) work environment.
o Must be able to travel internationally and domestically utilizing various transportation methods.
Minimum Job Qualifications:
• B.A. /B.S. in Business, Chemistry, Textile Science or a related field; Master’s Degree preferred.
• 15+ years’ experience, with 7+ years’ experience in progressive leadership roles at the senior management level.
• Respectful and outstanding leadership skills that motivate staff to exceed expectations; the ability to articulate a vision and strategy in a way that inspires people.
• Strong understanding and application of managerial concepts and techniques in areas such as project/change management, idea creation, employee development, coaching and cross-team effectiveness - lead and inspire!
• Team player attitude; solid positive energy; alignment with core values of the Patagonia business model.
• Ability to exercise a high degree of professionalism and deliver results against complex timelines both individually and through your team.
• Experience communicating and collaborating with global partners.
• Excellent communication skills: written, verbal, presentation, and negotiation.
• Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite programs.
• Demonstrated history of taking initiative and conscientiously following through on areas of responsibility.
It is the responsibility of every employee to contribute to a positive work environment through cooperative and professional interactions with co-workers, customers and vendors.
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