Vice President, Ingredients R&D – Global Foods

Kincannon & Reed has been retained to recruit a Vice President, Ingredients R&D – Global Foods for a leading global food and beverage company.

The Company

The Company is a world leader in convenient foods and beverages, with annual revenues of over $70 billion and over 250,000 employees worldwide. Global Foods revenues are $33-$35 billion, with annual growth targets of 5-7%. Their commitment to sustainable growth is focused on generating healthy financial returns in an environmentally sustainable way that nourishes its consumers while giving back to communities the company serves.

The Position

The VP, Ingredients R&D – Global Foods is a new position. This dynamic R&D leader will lead a global team that is responsible for Agricultural, Ingredients, and Flavor Research, Application, and deployment for the Company’s Global Foods portfolio. S/he will partner across the R&D organization to deliver a robust ingredient portfolio that will be leveraged by Global and Regional Product Development teams; and will be attractive and relevant to consumers in global local markets.

Specific responsibilities include: 

  • Advance incumbent food substrate, agriculture, and science approach to deliver consumer-preferred products and yield efficiency, which achieve the business’ goals
  • Use science to identify, advance, and applies new substrates, functional ingredients, flavors, seasonings, and sweeteners, while leveraging external and internal partnerships
  • Develop and operationalize Application Processes for all materials cross-functionally within R&D
  • Establish transformational technical agenda with Life Sciences, Process Engineering, and Product Development
  • Deliver consumer risk-mitigated business continuity and productivity solutions
  • Define the strategic capabilities needed to deliver long term sustainable growth, market share, and profitability to the Company
  • Partner with the regional R&D teams to launch new flavor technologies that deliver winning consumer experiences.
  • Lead her/his team to increase the speed of innovation, fueled by a fast breakthrough-innovation mentality
  • Recruit, retain, and develop a highly diverse team with broad-ranging backgrounds and experiences. Build succession plans and talent bench strength, and develop programs for future leaders.
  • Establish a culture that is data-driven and action-oriented but balanced against a desire to generate deep technical insights that challenge conventional thinking
  • Develop R&D Strategic Growth Platform, with focus on building key science, technology, and talent capabilities to meet aggressive growth targets

Other Position Parameters

  • The role reports to the SVP, Global Foods R&D
  • The position is supported by a team of three direct reports and a global team of 70
  • The post is located in the United Kingdom or Texas
  • Extensive global travel is required

Candidate Profile

Experience

  • Advanced Degree in Agriculture Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry-Biotechnology, or Food Science
  • 12+ years experience in one, and preferably more than one, of the following industries: Food Ingredients, Biotechnology, Food-Beverages, Materials, Agribusiness, Flavors
  • Significant experience in R&D leadership with a proven record of delivering robust transformation technology and science agenda which use agriculture and ingredient lenses to provide solutions
  • Track record of delivering category vision and, influencing the strategic direction of an organization
  • Led a large, geographically dispersed organization across multiple R&D functions.
  • Built a talent agenda that drove the long-term capability of a business
  • Highly experienced strategic thought leader in their industry, with the ability to navigate and bring long-term scientific solutions to commercialization.

Skills

  • Excellent leadership, communication, talent management, and interpersonal skills to build an organization and industry credibility.
  • Possesses the business acumen and experience partnering with senior business leaders across key functional areas both inside and outside of the R&D organization
  • Results-oriented people leader with proven ability to drive the organization towards achievement.
  • Highly integrated leader with ability to influence strategic direction of the organization, align business partners and senior leaders while inspiring change throughout the business teams
  • Excellent leadership, communication, talent management, and interpersonal skills to build organization and industry credibility.
  • Able to Identify nascent trends and global issues, and incorporate them in product and process development
  • Comfort and capacity to excel in a complex matrix organizational structure. A network builder.

Personal Characteristics

  • Unquestioned honesty and integrity
  • A strong willingness and deep passion to learn
  • Holds self and others accountable
  • An ego-less consensus builder. Thick-skinned, strong-willed, but not overbearing or divisive.
  • Ability to push back diplomatically, yet firmly, including holding onto and defending positions.
  • A passion for the Company’s values and mission.

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