Lead Research, Development, Quality and Innovation (RDQI) for the Global Gum & Candy category (sales volume of $5 billion+), reporting in to the newly expanded role of Global Head, Biscuit and Gum & Candy RDQI.
This role will be responsible for driving the innovation/growth agenda additionally to all cost saving and quality improvement initiatives for the Gum & Candy category. This role will sit on the Global RDQI Leadership Team.
Oversee a team of 200+ professionals across several R&D Technical Centers with direct reports including:
• Director Gum & Candy Process and Productivity Development Platform, SBH
• Director Technology Development Platform, SBH
• Director Gum & Candy and Powered Beverages AMEA, (double hat role)
• 3 Gum & Candy Region Leads, (Associate Directors) - LA, NA, MEU
Leverage resources that will drive big impact activities and support an aggressive innovation agenda. This includes driving ‘big bets’ programs and developing capabilities to support new business opportunities, developing new ingredients and technologies, and driving costs out of the supply chain. Continue development of a strong and capable team. Act as strategic partner that can position the business to take advantage of changing market conditions and new business opportunities globally. Align resources to the dynamic business strategy, minimizing duplication and maximizing utilization of appropriate skills and resources.
Prioritize projects and resource teams while developing a longer-term focus for the category. Leverage Regional and Global Center of Excellence research and development teams. Balance product, process and package development with an organization structure that supports changing consumer needs.
• Lead, direct and motivate the Research and Development function for the category, creating and driving its agenda in partnership with Category and Supply Chain partners; ensuring resources are fully aligned to the business strategy, minimizing duplication and maximizing utilization of the appropriate skills and resources.
• Work together with the Global RDQI team to communicate and drive the global strategy in line with the category’s business goals and priorities.
• Develop and execute a pipeline of breakthrough productivity platforms to ensure cost advantage while delivering preferred quality on the power brands.
• Partner with GPI and Region Presidents to direct, organize, plan and control the pipeline of innovation projects. Ensure the appropriate balance of renovation, extension and breakthrough projects are delivered to support the achievement of growth and innovation objectives.
• Partner with global resources to drive an external search strategy for new technologies, food product concepts, flavor trends, packaging technologies, and health and nutrition issues within the food industry and through external contacts within the industry. Represent the company on key industry bodies as appropriate.
• Partner with regional commercial teams to direct, organize, plan and control the pipeline of innovation projects ensuring an appropriate balance of renovation, extension, breakout and breakthrough projects are delivered to support the achievement of growth and innovation objectives. Effectively manage and contribute to the value optimization/fuel for growth agenda in collaboration with other functional team leaders.
• Ensure the company’s products are of the highest quality and meet all food safety requirements that consumers and regulators expect.
• Develop and grow a diverse talent base within the category that meets the business’ needs and helps build the global pool of R&D functional talent.