Post Holdings Director of R&D in Emeryville, California

Premier Nutrition Corporation (PNC) distributes nutritional food products to a health-conscious consumer base under the brand names of Premier Protein, PowerBar, Supreme Protein, and Joint Juice. With its “People First” culture, PNC treats employees with positivity and empathy, and embraces new and innovative ideas that spark passion, personal growth, and a healthy dose of fun around the office—for example, bringing dogs to work, company-wide volunteer days, philanthropy and sustainability programs, in-office massages; and we believe in respecting your own personal good energy needs by encouraging workouts or personal trainer classes in the office gym, recharging with yoga, and holding walking meetings.

What’s it like to work here? Picture the scrappy culture of a start-up, the resources and systems of a respected consumer brand under the Post Holdings umbrella, and the innovativeness of a tech company and you’ve got a sense of what it feels like to work here. You’ll walk into the office each Monday morning and find a hundred of your colleagues sitting on sofas, the stairs, overstuffed pillows, the floor, or chairs—if that’s your jam—talking through the week ahead and learning about each other.

Big and small wins are recognized regularly, and all employees strive to empower and inspire each other daily—leading to a close-knit, highly engaged team atmosphere. Furthermore, senior leaders encourage and facilitate employees to get outside their comfort zones and learn practice areas beyond their current job description. The result is an accelerated personal growth trajectory with the opportunity to work alongside and learn from other teams. PNC is seeking an individual who will enjoy this team-oriented business environment and will be a leader in this high-growth company.

PNC is part of the Active Nutrition segment and is operated by its own senior leadership team, with publicly traded Post Holdings Inc. (FY 2017 sales of $5.2 billion) as a holding company acting in a “private equity” capacity. Shattering typical industry growth rates, Post Holdings’ Active Nutrition segment is recognized as a leader in providing innovative products that support healthy, active lifestyles with over $700 million in sales in FY 2017. Post Holdings is comprised of the Active Nutrition portfolio, which includes PNC, Dymatize,­­­ and Active Nutrition International (protein bars, shakes and powder products), Post Consumer Brands (cereals), Michael Foods (eggs, potato, cheese, and pasta), Weetabix, and private label business groups, and is rapidly expanding via acquisition, including the recent acquisition of Bob Evans Farms, a leader in frozen breakfast meats and vegetables.

GENERAL SUMMARY:

This is a senior-level R&D position (organizational expert); this position will oversee R&D direction and execution of a wide range of growth/quality/cost savings projects from ideation through commercialization.

This position directly manages up to 5 Technical Professionals, and work stream are third party resources. This position also has direct responsibility of R&D lab and pilot plant.

This position leads cross-functional initiatives and is a key link between R&D and internal functions and external partners.

This position will participate in strategic planning process and this position demonstrates joint accountability for achieving strategic targets and entering new areas through R&D activities.

This position works with very limited supervision and has significant impact to business P&L.

JOB RESPONSIBILITIES:

R&D tactical activities: 60 %

  • Project leadership: Oversees R&D product developers, external partners and R&D lab activities. Assumes responsibility for definition, initiation and execution of assigned projects. Ensures that work projects and processes support overall vision and are aligned with stage gate process, business strategies, standards and practices.

  • Portfolio management: ensures resource allocation is appropriate and aligned with business partners.

  • Continuous improvement: Identifies improvement opportunities, constraints, hurdles or gaps and will act upon them and/or provide recommendations to business.

  • Technical direction: Guides product development scientists through the design and execution of experimental protocols.

  • Analytical and sensory leadership: Uses sound judgement in relation to analytical testing (methods and instrumentation) and sensory test designs. Leads scientists through the use of such techniques in advancing product development activities.

R&D Strategic activities: 30 %

  • Partners with internal functions in developing sound project decisions; from starting projects through development and implementation.

  • Provides strategic insight when long term strategic plans for functional area are developed (e.g. 3 year I/R pipeline). Provides relevant info to and seeks input from business, internal team and external partners on strategic direction of projects and plans.

  • Develops and implements new areas of technological opportunity for the business. Partners or leads strategic cross-functional initiatives.

  • Creates and maintains an environment of technical excellence, innovation know-how, consumer insight and entrepreneurial spirit in order to support and excel business and R&D team.

  • Stays on top of relevant trends through individual research, seminars and maintaining a network of professional, business and industrial contacts.

R&D department management: 10 %

  • Leads, mentors, develops and manages direct reports.

  • Exercises prudent decisions when spending against the R&D budget.

QUALIFICATIONS:

Education Level:

Required: BS Food Science, Food Engineering, Chemical Engineering or similar disciplines.

Preferred: Advanced degree in a related field is highly preferred.

Experience:

Required:

  • 15+ years’ experience in Food industry, which includes substantial experience in R&D, New Product Development, Product Commercialization, Project Management and/or product/process improvement experience.

  • Substantial experience leading direct reports and working in cross-functional teams and with third party resources is required.

Skills:

Required:

  • Fundamental experience in dairy and dairy nutritional beverages.

  • Demonstrated ability to execute and/or oversee execution of projects within timelines and meet/exceed project targets.

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively in team environment (cross-functional teams, both internal and external resources) through excellent interpersonal, influencing and communication skills (both written and verbal)

  • Demonstrated ability to manage direct reports effectively.

  • Ability to excel in dynamic fast paced business environment, demonstrated ability to self-motivate and manage multiple priorities

  • Ability to travel to various sites e.g. project exploration/implementation at third parties/co-mans.

Preferred:

  • Authority in dairy proteins, nutritional beverages, and aseptic processing.

Post Holdings provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, status as a covered veteran and any other category protected under applicable federal, state, provincial and local laws.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information.

Qualifications