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Executive Vice President - Product Development, Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory - Edina, MN

International Dairy Queen, Inc.





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Since 1940, Dairy Queen® has been one of the world’s best known and loved brands. Based in Minneapolis, MN, International Dairy Queen Inc., (IDQ), is the parent company of American Dairy Queen Corporation. As a leading franchisor, there are more than 6,700 independently owned and operated restaurants in the U.S., Canada and 25 countries around the world. IDQ is a subsidiary of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (Berkshire) which is led by Warren Buffett, the legendary investor and CEO of Berkshire.

Here at IDQ, we create extraordinary Fan experiences every day and we do this through our commitment to hiring and retaining only the best in class talent. We firmly believe that our employees are the catalyst to the success of the company where their initiative, strategic thinking, and entrepreneurial spirit are recognized and rewarded. We're looking for motivated, passionate and dedicated individuals with an inherent need and ambition to go after bigger challenges.

We have an exciting opportunity available as the Executive Vice President of Research and Development, Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory, this great opportunity will be located in Edina, MN at our Franchise Support Center. This position provides the overall product development vision and strategic direction for the brand in conjunction with the brand and marketing leaders. Provides leadership to drive and deliver against brand objectives relating to new and existing products. Leads the product development strategic planning process to ensure projects are completed on time and meet company’s standards of quality. Works cross-functionally across all departments to remove barriers, allocate resources and hit milestones necessary to execute on strategic initiatives resulting in organization growth and profitability.

This person will also have the oversight for the global Food Safety, Quality and Regulatory (FSQR) department to ensure that store operators of all ADQ subsidiaries have access to products that meet ADQ’s standards for quality, consistency and safety for both franchisees and consumers and to protect the overall brand.



  • Lead the short (annual) and long-term (3- 5 years) strategic planning process for the R&D function, providing direction and Executive leadership. Participate in business planning with company executive management, bringing a current knowledge and future vision of Product Development and FSQR as related to IDQ’s franchisee system, consumer focus, and competitive position.
  • Develop strong business relationships with both internal and external partners, including key external vendors, franchisees and all internal departments to ensure cross-functional execution is achieved. Work closely with franchisees to influence their understanding and support of the strategies and plans. Present information, strategies, and concepts to cross functional leaders, franchisees and vendors in a manner that inspires to action and to achieve established corporate goals.
  • Oversee the product development strategies and processes to elevate the quality and consistency of core and innovative products and platforms. Oversee the product standards to maintain a strong core product portfolio and innovative pipeline to support the development of products and to transfer technology, intellectual property and knowledge globally.
  • Responsible for the leadership, development, coaching and performance of the R&D and FSQR teams. Motivate and lead a high-performance team; attract, develop, recruit and retain the required talent. Set the vision and expectations for the senior leaders on the team and for the entire department as it pertains to performance. Set the overall strategy for R&D and FSQR, ensures goal alignment with overall company and sets proper metrics to hold team accountable.
  • Interpret competitors’ activities, industry and consumer trends and food technology advancements to conceptualize and develop products and platforms which enhance restaurant operating efficiencies and IDQ profitability. Oversee technology development and product development processes that support strategically significant business opportunities and competitive advantage. Leverage internal and external best practices to continuously improve the R&D function and speed to market.


Required Skills

  • Undergraduate degree in food science, chemistry or related field and Master’s degree in related field are both required.
  • At least 15 years of progressively responsible R&D experience preferably with a QSR, Fast Casual or Food Service company.
  • Minimum of 10+ years managing employees, including 8+ years of managing senior management-level leaders. Track record of managerial ability in building competent, high performance teams, establishing clear expectations: monitoring progress and results on an ongoing basis; actively coaching managers and employees to develop their skills; fostering creative thinking; regularly providing feedback on strengths and when they are performing well; providing constructive feedback on areas to develop; creating focus on the right priorities; eliminating roadblocks.


Required Experience

  • Create a positive work environment for teams and departments.
  • Strong track record of successful innovations, including those with global reach, large-scale and cross-functional teams.
  • Strong ability to multi-task and prioritize multiple projects and requests simultaneously, within an intense, deadline-driven environment.
  • Strong relationship building skills with the ability to create mutually beneficial relationships with both internal and external clients. Ability to collaborate with and influence others.
  • Ability to effectively collaborate and team with other departments, such as Operations, Marketing, Supply Chain to prioritize projects, find solutions to challenges and complete projects on time.
  • Creative thinker who can quickly develop innovative ideas.
  • Ability to help others see potential in new ideas using strong conceptual and analytical skills that result in well-reasoned conclusions.
  • Superb written and verbal communication skills, with the ability to articulate concepts and strategies to a variety of audiences, including senior leadership teams and franchisee leadership groups/councils.
  • Well organized with a high attention to detail and accuracy.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
  • Ability to travel up to 25%.


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